Project 2505: S. Hayer, S. Köhnk, S. Boretius, D. Brandis. 2016. A new type of brachyuran seminal receptacle in the masked crab Ethusa mascarone (Brachyura, Ethusidae). Journal of Morphology. Volume 277 (11):1497–1508.
Specimen: Ethusa mascarone (Herbst, 1785) (unvouchered)


The reproductive system of the female Ethusa mascarone (Herbst, 1785) was studied with a combination of histological and MRI-techniques. The study reveals a completely new type of eubrachyuran seminal receptacle. This receptacle consists of two largely separate chambers that engage with each other in a manner similar to shaking hands. One chamber facing the medial axis is lined by cuticle while the second chamber consists of a thick holocrine epithelium. Both chambers are connected by two openings of a unique structure. First, the glandular chamber opens ventro-laterally to the cuticle chamber via a laterally flattened connective duct that is lined by a highly folded cuticle. A second opening connects both chambers dorsally with the oviduct orifice. A distinct character is the cuticular hook-like projection that is situated in between the connection of oviduct opening, the glandular chamber and the cuticle chamber of the seminal receptacle.
The complete seminal receptacle exhibits a combination of plesiomorphic and apomorphic characters. The arrangement of the receptacles features in two separate chambers including the ventro-lateral connection of the glandular chamber to the cuticle chamber presumably reflect an early evolutionary stage of an eubrachyuran receptacle. However, the dorso-lateral opening between both chambers including the hook-like projection appears to be an apomorphic character of at least E. mascarone.

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Article DOI: 10.1002/jmor.20591

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2505,
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    • Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel


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    Sarah Hayer
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