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Comparative anatomy of the male reproductive internal organs of 51 species of bees

Anatomia comparada dos órgãos do aparelho reprodutor masculino de 51 espécies de abelhas

The anatomy of the internal organs of the male reproductive apparatus (MRA) of adults and pupae was compared among 51 species of bees, including representatives of six families. Four different types of MRA were found. The type I is present in males of the less derived families (Colletidae, Andrenidae, and Halictidae) and is characterized by three seminiferous tubules per testis, which are almost completely enveloped by the scrotal membrane. The type II is an intermediary between types III and I and is present in Melittidae and Megachilidae, as well as in some Apidae studied, being characterized by post-vesicular deferent ducts outside the scrotal membrane and by three or four seminiferous tubules per testis, except for Apis mellifera L., which has a secondarily increased number of tubules. Type III was only found in the Apidae studied and is characterized by separately encapsulated testes and genital ducts (except for the post-vesicular deferent duct). Accessory glands are well developed, and the ejaculatory duct is thickened with fissures in its wall, which may also occur in the type II. Type IV is present exclusively in the tribe Meliponini, and is characterized by the absence of accessory glands.

Accessory gland; genitalia; morphology


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