n African Zoology - Ultrastructure of epididymal spermatozoa in three social African mole-rats of the genus (Rodentia : Bathyergidae) : conservatism in sperm morphology

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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The morphology, size and three-dimensional structure of spermatozoa from three representatives of the genus &lt;I&gt;Cryptomys&lt;/I&gt; were investigated. To date, there has been no study to either elucidate the morphological features or relative dimensions of spermatozoa in the genus &lt;I&gt;Cryptomys&lt;/I&gt; specifically, or in the Bathyergidae as a whole. Semen samples were collected from the whole region of the epididymides, in one eusocial species, the Damaraland mole-rat, <I>Cryptomy damarensis&lt;/I&gt; and two social subspecies the common mole-rat, <I>Cryptomys hottentotus hottentotus&lt;/I&gt; and the highveld mole-rat, <I>Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae</I>. Spermatozoa were processed using standard procedures for scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Whole sperm dimensions were measured and morphological characteristics documented. The results reveal a degree of conservation of morphological structure of the spermatozoa within the genus <I>Cryptomys</I>, with a slight plasticity in the size of some sperm components.

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