SREL Reprint #1993

 

 

 

 

Cloacal anatomy of paedomorphic female Ambystoma talpoideum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), with comments on intermorph mating and sperm storage

STANLEY E. TRAUTH
Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University, State University , AR 72467, U.S.A.

DAVID M. SEVER
Department of Biology, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN 46556, U.S.A.

AND

RAYMOND D. SEMLITSCH
Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.

The cloacae anatomy of paedomorphic female Ambystoma talpoideum was examined using light microscopy and histochemical techniques. Three types of cloacal glands (anterior ventral glands, dorsal glands, and spermathecae) were observed. Glandular morphology and secretary activity were documented from seasonal samples collected in South Carolina. Maximal development of cloacal glands corresponded to a peak in reproductive activity. Sperm-storage glands, the spermathecae, contained sperm in specimens collected from November through February. Although greatly hypertrophied during the breeding season, the anterior ventral glands continue to release secretary material throughout the year. This suggests that these glands could function in capacities other than those related to reproduction. The rudimentary dorsal glands also contain sperm during the breeding season; however, the occurrence of sperm in these glands is considered to be incidental. The cloacal glands of paedomorphs are similar to those of metamorphs. Interbreeding between morphs may occur and thus facilitate the maintenance of both morphs in nature.

SREL Reprint #1993

Trauth, S.E., D.M. Sever, and R.D. Semlitsch. 1994. Cloacal anatomy of paedomorphic female Ambystoma talpoideum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), with comments on intermorph mating and sperm storage. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72:2147-2157.

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