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Spermatogenic Cycle of the Florida Softshell Turtle, Apalone ferox

Peter A. Meylan, Rachel Schuler and Paul Moler
Copeia
Vol. 2002, No. 3 (Aug. 15, 2002), pp. 779-786
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1448157
Page Count: 8
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Spermatogenic Cycle of the Florida Softshell Turtle, Apalone ferox
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Abstract

Spermatogenesis in Apalone ferox from Palm Beach County, Florida, is found to follow a postnuptial or dissociated pattern. Reduction of epididymis mass and clearing of sperm from the epididymides suggest spring mating. Histology of the testes, somatic index, and tubule diameter all suggest fall spermatogenesis. Males as small as 15.2 cm PL were found to be mature, and all males were reproductive in a given year. The distribution of postnuptial spermatogenesis is mapped on a phylogeny of turtles and suggests that this pattern has evolved at least six times among living turtles.

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