Gotoh, A., Billen, J., Tsuji, K., Sasaki, T. and Ito, F. 2011. Histological study of the spermatheca in three thelytokous parthenogenetic ant species, Pristomyrmex punctatus, Pyramica membranifera and Monomorium triviale (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 00:1–8.
The evolution of obligate parthenogenesis may induce the degeneration of female mating ability and subsequently affect the morphology of the female reproductive organs related to mating and/or sperm storage. Here, we investigated the size and structure of the sperm storage organ, the spermatheca, in three thelytokous parthenogenetic myrmicine ant species, Pristomyrmex punctatus, Pyramica membranifera and Monomorium triviale, and compared it with that of their related sexually reproducing species. So far, mated individuals have never been found in these three species, which appears to be in line with their parthenogenetic status. Although the spermatheca appears to be useless in these species, we could not find any evidence on the degeneration in size and morphology of their spermathecae. The spermathecal reservoir still has the columnar hilar epithelium, which is one of the major features for a functional spermatheca in ants.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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