Gonadal development in males of the orange mud crab, Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Portunidae)

in Crustaceana
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This study describes the morphological and histological characteristics of the male reproductive system of the orange mud crab, Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796). Three maturation stages were determined on the basis of the vas deferens diameter, the gonad colour and the gonadosomatic index (GSI). Significant differences were observed in the GSI value as the crabs matured. All germ cells were present in the histological sections of the testes, and these decrease significantly in size as they progress from spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids to spermatozoa. Spermatophores are found in the anterior vas deferens (AVD) and median vas deferens (MVD) of all maturation stages but not in the posterior vas deferens (PVD), with a significantly smaller size in immature and maturing specimens. Thus, the classification of S. olivacea gonads into various maturation stages based solely on histological characteristics (i.e., the presence of spermatophores) is impossible. Therefore, the combination of both microscopic and macroscopic features is essential for determining the gonad maturation stages of male S. olivacea.

Crustaceana

International Journal of Crustacean Research

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Figures

  • Male reproductive organs of Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796): A, internal male reproductive system of S. olivacea with the thin commissure (TC) located between the testes (T) and anterior vasa deferentia (AVD) and connecting the two sides of the gonad; B, extracted internal male reproductive system of S. olivacea without the linking commissure due to breakage during handling, with clear differentiation of testis (T), anterior vas deferens (AVD), median vas deferens (MVD) and posterior vas deferens (PVD); C, external male reproductive system of S. olivacea with the first (G1) and second (G2) gonopods clearly visible. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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  • Mean testis weight, mean anterior vas deferens (AVD) + median vas deferens (MVD) weight, mean posterior vas deferens (PVD) + ejaculatory duct (ED) weight and total gonad weight of male Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) with increasing carapace width (CW).

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  • Male reproductive system of Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) in histological cross-section (Mayer’s Hematoxylin-Eosin staining): A, testes containing spermatogonia (SPG), spermatocytes (SPC), spermatids (SPT) and spermatozoa (SPZ), magnification 20×; B, anterior vas deferens (AVD) containing closely packed spermatophores (SPH) with minimal spermatophoric matrix (SM), magnification 20×; C, cell wall of AVD made up of stratified cuboidal epithelium (SCE) and enveloped by a thin layer of elongated cells (EC), magnification 100×; D, median vas deferens (MVD) showing spermatophores (SPH) loosely distributed in spermatophoric matrix (SM) within the lumen cavity, magnification 4×; E, detailed zoom-in of a typical oval-shaped spermatophore (SPH) containing spermatozoa, surrounded by spermatophoric matrix (SM) with basophilic (black arrow) and acidophilic (white arrow) secretions, magnification 100×; F, cell wall of MVD consisting of a thin layer of elongated cells (EC) (outer layer) and simple squamous epithelium (SSE) (inner layer) with basophilic (black arrow) and acidophilic (white arrow) secretions, magnification 100×; G, posterior vas deferens (PVD) with only seminal fluid (SF) and no sign of spermatophores, magnification of 10×; H, cell wall of PVD composed of simple columnar epithelium (SLE), surrounded by a single layer of elongated cells (EC) with basophilic (black arrow) and acidophilic (white arrow) secretions, magnification of 100×. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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  • Different types of germ cells found in the histological cross-section of Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) testis, magnification 100×: A, spermatogonia (SPG); B, spermatocytes (SPC); C, spermatids (SPT); D, spermatozoa (SPZ). This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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