In this study, the spermathecae of sixty-eight species of Coleoptera, representing fifty-one genera and twenty-three families, were examined and are listed in the order they appear in Leng's Catalogue of the North American Coleoptera. An examination was made of ninety-five specimens of four different species to check for variation within the species. In only one species was there a departure from the pattern characteristic of the genus. Ther spermatheca is differentiated into the cornu, the nodulus and ramus. It is a sac in the female for the reception and storage of the spermatozoa until used for fertilizing the eggs. Among the early workers there was some disagreement as to the origin of the spermatheca. Recent investigators show that it is an invagination fot the venter of the eight abdominal segment. It varies in size, shape and degree of chitinization. In the sub-order Adephaga the spermatheca is generally simple in form and membranous in appearance while in the Polyphaga both simple and complex structures are found. In the genus Aphodius (Family Scarabaeidae) three species were examined. Aphodius fimetarius (L.) and A. distinotus (Mull.) appear to be more closely related than A. fimatarius (L.) and A. granarius (L.). This is contrary to the way they are listed in Leng's Catalogue of the North American Coleoptera. The spermatheca can be a valuable aid in the classification of the Coleoptera, especially in generic and specific separation.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Moore, Lenord Daniel, "The spermatheca as a taxonomic aid in the study of some families of coleoptera" (1953). Theses and Dissertations. 7828.