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Reinterpretation of ‘sperm pump’ or ‘sperm syringe’ function with notes on other male internal reproductive organs in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

Cicero, Joseph M., Hunter, Wayne B., Cano, Liliana M., Saha, Surya, Mueller, Lukas A., Brown, Susan J.
Arthropod structure & development 2020 v.54 pp. 100915
Citrus, Diaphorina citri, arthropods, females, insemination, male genitalia, male reproductive system, males, molecular genetics, muscles, myocytes, pathogens, sclerotization, spring
Reproduction is a critical feature in the search for means to manage the Asian citrus psyllid, vector of a devastating bacterial pathogen of citrus. The importance of accuracy in functional, anatomical descriptions and interpretations for use by other disciplines, particularly molecular genetics, cannot be overstressed. The term ‘sperm pump’ was coined by classical authors on observational appearance of the endoskeleton of the male reproductive apparatus. They described a thimble-shaped cuticle with smooth, cylindrical columns, interpreted as muscles, that ran longitudinally around a central cylinder. They detected transverse lines on the cylinder giving the false impression of a coiled spring. These features fostered the teleological interpretation that the device is a contractile pump. Now obsolete, the term is replaced by ‘drum/spout complex’. It is a hypodermis with a sclerotized cuticle that houses the phallus which transports seminal fluid through its lumen to the female for insemination. Between the spout and the external genitalia is a spout extension, conferring flexibility to the apparatus about the abdominal apex. Approximately 21 longitudinal columns extend circumferentially around the cylinder's hemolymph-side, from the thimble's basal plate to its apical plate. These columns are correctly muscle cells, and reinterpreted to exude a lipaceous, lubricating substance for mating.