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n. pl. sper·ma·the·cae (-sē)
A receptacle in the reproductive tract of many female or hermaphrodite invertebrates and certain female vertebrates, in which spermatozoa are received and stored until needed to fertilize the ova.

[Late Latin sperma, semen; see sperm1 + theca.]

sper′ma·the′cal adj.


n, pl -cas or -cae (-kiː)
(Zoology) a sac or cavity within the body of many female invertebrates, esp insects, used for storing spermatozoa before fertilization takes place
[C19: see sperm1, theca]
ˌspermaˈthecal adj


(ˌspɜr məˈθi kə)

n., pl. -cae (-sē).
a sac for storing sperm, present in certain female invertebrates, as the queen bee.
[1820–30; sperma- (variant of spermato-, spermo-) + theca]
References in periodicals archive ?
Preliminary research on spermathecal loads among primiparous and multiparous females in the eastern Bering Sea has shown that they were significantly lower than those of females in the Gulf of St.
This new species is similar to Amblyseius coffeae De Leon (1961), Amblyseius fernandezi Chant & Baker (1965), and Amblyseius operculatus De Leon (1967), in relation to the general measurements and general shape of spermatheca, but it differs from them by having a profound constriction of the ventrianal shield immediately behind JV1, and by having the spermathecal calyx slightly constricted near region of fusion with the major duct.
The female differs in the relatively short and compact spermathecal ducts (Fig.
The spermathecal opening above the ventral valves (Belyaeva and Dovgobrod, 2006) was not visible due either to damage during dissections or incomplete removal of subgenital plates.
The genus is characterized by long hose-like atria, vestigial vasa deferentia, small or completely lacking prostate glands, and presence (in most species) of simple-pointed and distally grooved, often nib-shaped, spermathecal chaetae (Fig.
Genitalia: Dorsal labiate plate: Without sclerotized rings, with two distinct sclerotized bands (see Stonedahl, 1991 for terminology), spermathecal gland placed near posterior margin (Fig.
Spermathecal filling in the rove beetle Drusilla canaliculata (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae).
The species also shares similarities in the internal and external epigynal structures, specifically the spermathecal shape, as well as similarities in the carapace shape, eye location, and leg length.
This species can be distinguished from other Aloconota species by all antennomeres distinctly elongate, male tergite VII without tubercle and the shape and structure of aedeagus and spermathecal duct.
The spermathecal and internal male terminalia structures, especially the unique basiphallus-distiphallus junction, provide strong evidence for the monophyly of this group.
ch--chaeta(e), cl--clitellum, dv--dorsal blood vessel, e--egg, i--intestine, mf--male funnel (sperm funnel), mp--male pore, nc--nerve cord, o--ovary, pb--penial bulb, phg--pharyngeal (septal) gland(s), php--pharyngeal pad, s--spermatheca, sc--spermatocytes, spa--spermathecal ampulla, spd--spermathecal duct, spg--glands at the spermathecal pore, t--testis, vd--vas deferens (sperm duct).
5B: rs), with a narrow, semicircular sclerite surrounding opening of spermathecal duct; spermathecal duct long, tortuous; intermediate part of spermatheca short, with relatively small proximal and distal ranges; apical receptacle of spermatheca simple, oval (Fig.