Morphology of the male genital organs of the Scorpion Mud Turtle Kinosternon scorpioides (Chelonia: Kinosternidae)

Kinosternon scorpioides is a small semi-aquatic turtle, typical of fresh-water, with wide geographic distribution. It is found in the state of Maranhão, where is called jurará or muçuã. Its meat is an excellent protein source and despite current legislation, it is commercialized at beaches and markets in the city of São Luis, consumed in restaurants as an appetizer in its own shell. The constitutive elements of the male genital organs were studied, aiming to provide morphological data of the species which could be used in reproductive biology aimed at actions towards its preservation in captivity. The sample was composed of 10 adult males, captured by IBAMA-MA (Proc. nº 020.12.002400/99-31, license nº 002/01), euthanized, following rules from the Ethics Committee of UEMA's Veterinary Medicine School. The choelomic cavity was opened and the organs were fixed in formaldehyde 10% and subsequently dissected. The testis of K. scorpioides had ovoid shape and golden yellow coloration. The cylindrical epididymidis adhered dorsal-wise to the medial surface of the testis, ending in a small deferent duct. The deferent ducts did not form distinct blister and opened inside cloaca. The furrowed penis, located in the base of the cloaca, extending itself until the tail and it was composed by root, body and free part. The morphology data of the reproductive organs of these animals was similar to other turtles such as the sea turtle, suggesting a conservative morphological presentation among turtles.

Anatomy; male genital organs; jurará; muçuã; Kinosternon scorpioides

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