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The relationship between sperm reservoir and spermatophore length in benthic octopuses (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae)

  • Janet R. Voight (a1)
Abstract

The relationship between sperm reservoir and total spermatophore length among 168 spermatophores from 44 species in 11 genera has been considered. Bivariate plots show that four Atlantic species of the genus Eledone produce spermatophores with relatively large sperm reservoirs that differ from all others. Measurements of the remaining spermatophores are so tightly correlated that a single equation explains over 96% of the variation. Functional constraints on gross spermatophore morphology may be so strong that males cannot manipulate sperm reservoir size independently of spermatophore size to maximize the sperm delivered at a single copulation. Alternate means to assure male paternity may have evolved in the group as a result. Despite the overall uniformity of the relationship among all species other than those of Eledone in the Atlantic, these measurements distinguish the overtly similar species Octopus bimaculatusOctopus bimaculoides and separate Benthoctopus januarii from all others.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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