Age-related sperm production, transfer, and storage in the sweet potato weevil, cylas formicarius (fabricius) (coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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The relationship between sperm production, insemination rate, and sperm transfer were studied in the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius. Older adult males retained more sperm in the testes-seminal vesicle complex (TSC) and thus more was ejaculated into females at first mating. Number of matings per day for males was relatively constant across different ages, and frequent mating resulted in a reduced amount of sperm transferred to females, especially in young males. Young virgin males had a relatively small ejaculate, and almost all sperm transferred to females was stored in the spermatheca, whereas older virgin males transferred a larger amount of sperm to females, in whom sperm was found in both the spermatheca and post-spermathecal organs (PSO) after mating. The number of sperm in the PSO decreased markedly within 24 h after mating, but amounts in the spermatheca remained the same. Just where the sperm in the PSO went is a point that remained undetermined. The amount of sperm in the spermatheca was reduced more rapidly in females that laid eggs than in females that did not, although sperm reduction occurred even in the latter. Insemination of this weevil corresponded with the volume of the spermatheca, and the amount of sperm stored in the TSC was determined by the age and mating history of the males.




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