AB 16:241-251 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00453

Reproductive apparatus of the male giant hermit crab Petrochirus diogenes (Anomura, Diogenidae): morphology and phylogenetic implications

Raquel C. Buranelli, Fernando L. Mantelatto*

Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustacean Systematics (LBSC), Department of Biology, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP), University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo 14040-901, Brazil
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: We describe the male reproductive apparatus of the giant hermit crab Petrochirus diogenes, with morphological and biometric analyses of the spermatophore, the gonopore and the ultrastructure of the spermatozoa. Specimens were collected from the southern coast of São Paulo, Brazil. Morphological analyses were done using stereoscopic, light, transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The reproductive system of this hermit crab is composed of elongate and lobular testes followed by vasa deferentia that connect to the exterior via gonopores. The gonopores are ovoid and surrounded by setae, and each gonopore is composed of a membranous operculum that forms a depression constituting the gonopore opening. The gonopore constitutes a unique structure among the Diogenidae due to its number of setae. The spermatophores are tripartite, composed of a sperm-containing ampulla, a peduncle and a proximal foot. The spermatozoon has 3 main regions (acrosomal vesicle, nucleus and cytoplasm). The structure of the spermatophore indicates that this species can be considered an exception within Diogenidae with regard to spermatophore morphology and can therefore be used for phylogenetic inferences.


KEY WORDS: Decapoda · Reproduction · Spermatophore · Spermiotaxonomy · Gonopore


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Cite this article as: Buranelli RC, Mantelatto FL (2012) Reproductive apparatus of the male giant hermit crab Petrochirus diogenes (Anomura, Diogenidae): morphology and phylogenetic implications. Aquat Biol 16:241-251. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00453

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