INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Testes Mass, but Not Sperm Length, Increases with Higher Levels of Polyandry in an Ancient Sex Model
VRECH, DAVID E., OLIVERO, PAOLA A., MATTONI, CAMILO, I., PERETTI, ALFREDO V.
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Año: 2014 vol. 9 p. 1 - 1
There is strong evidence that polyandrous taxa have evolved relatively larger testes than monogamous relatives. Sperm size may either increase or decrease across species with the risk or intensity of sperm competition. Scorpions represent an ancient direct mode with spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer and are particularly well suited for studies in sperm competition. This work aims to analyze for the first time the variables affecting testes mass, ejaculate volume and sperm length, according with their levels of polyandry, in species belonging to the Neotropical family Bothriuridae. Variables influencing testes mass and sperm length were obtained by model selection analysis using corrected Akaike Information Criterion. Testes mass varied greatly among the seven species analyzed, ranging from 1.661.1 mg in Timogenes dorbignyi to 16.364.5 mg in Brachistosternus pentheri with an average of 8.465.0 mg in all the species. The relationship between testes mass and body mass was not significant. Body allocation in testes mass, taken as Gonadosomatic Index, was high in Bothriurus cordubensis and Brachistosternus ferrugineus and low in Timogenes species. The best-fitting model for testes mass considered only polyandry as predictor with a positive influence. Model selection showed that body mass influenced sperm length negatively but after correcting for body mass, none of the variables analyzed explained sperm length. Both body mass and testes mass influenced spermatophore volume positively. There was a strong phylogenetic effect on the model containing testes mass. As predicted by the sperm competition theory and according to what happens in other arthropods, testes mass increased in species with higher levels of sperm competition, and influenced positively spermatophore volume, but data was not conclusive for sperm length.