n African Entomology - A qualitative assessment of intra- and interspecific variability in spermathecal form in the complex (Diptera : Ephydroidea : Curtonotidae) and an assessment of their value as species-level characters

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Variability in the spermathecal form of the three closely-related species ascribed to the species-group, complex, namely : Duda, Tsacas and Tsacas, is investigated. Pairs of spermathecae are illustrated photographically and their form compared intra- and interspecifically. The external form and shape are found to overlap in all three species. The spermathecae of are illustrated for the first time. While general trends in shape are noted, variation is overlapping, both between individuals of the same species and within pairs of spermathecae from the same specimen. It is concluded, therefore, that spermathecal formis not a useful character to distinguish females of the three species, and that the use of spermathecae as diagnostic characters in the genus Macquart, in general, must be viewed critically and with a high degree of scepticism.

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