Argulus japonicus: Sperm transfer by means of a spermatophore on Carassius auratus (L)

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The process of sperm transfer is somewhat enigmatic in Argulus, even though copulation has been witnessed. A breeding colony of Argulus japonicus was kept under laboratory conditions in order to study reproduction in the species. Pairs in copula were removed and studied with histology and scanning electron microscopy to describe the mechanism of sperm transfer. Sections of copulating pairs revealed sperm on the accessory copulatory structures of the male's swimming legs; and scanning electron microscopy showed that sperm transfer occurs in three phases which can be differentiated to 10 different stages. Sperm transfer occurs via a spermatophore which is extruded from the genital aperture of the male and is then transferred to the socket on the third pair of legs of the male, before being transferred into the spermathecae of the female via the spermathecal spines. This is the first observation of a spermatophore in Argulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Argulus
  • Branchiura
  • Copulation
  • Crustacea
  • Sperm transfer
  • Spermatophore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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