Truncilla truncata males release spherical aggregates of spermatozoa, called spermatozeugmata, at spawning. Sperm aggregates from other bivalve species have been described, but few detailed studies exist of the morphology of unionid spermatozeugmata and spermatozoa. We provide the first description of the external morphology of spermatozeugmata and spermatozoa of T. Truncata. The spermatozeugmata had an inside diameter of 76 mu m and contained 8000-9000 spermatozoa. Heads of spermatozoa were directed toward the center of the sphere into a translucent shell; tails were arranged radially and caused the spermatozeugmata to rotate. Spermatozoa of T. Truncata measured 3.3 mu m in length (excluding tail) and each had a head, a midpiece and a flagellum. We also documented the release of spermatozeugmata in two additional unionid species, Lampsilis cardium and Amblema plicata plicata.
Additional publication details
External morphology of spermatozoa and spermatozeugmata of the freshwater mussel Truncilla truncata (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae)