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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

In Delia antiqua (Meigen) (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), the male reproductive complex is composed of a pair of testes, paired vas deferens connecting the testes to the anterior ejaculatory duct, and a pair of paragonial (accessory) glands. Each D. antiqua paragonial gland consists of a single layer of secretory epithelial cells surrounded by a thin sheath of muscle tissue. The paragonial cells appear to be largely homogeneous in form, however a minor number of cells exhibit unique staining characteristics distinct from the main cells of the gland. This is preliminary evidence for a secondary cell type as has been found for Drosophila and Aedes paragonial glands. In contrast to the testis and vas deferens, where most of the growth occurs during the pupal stage, the D. antiqua paragonial glands expanded markedly due to secretory accumulation during the first days of adult life. Based on histochemical analyses, the paragonial secretion contained abundant protein, with evidence of glycoprotein. The reproductive complex in all three Delia species (D. antiqua, D. radicum (Bouche) and D. platura (Meigen)) appears similar, with the exception of size differences and timing of paragonial secretory accumulation and sperm maturation. Paragonial glands of D. radicum were the largest in both length and width, and only this species possessed abundant sperm upon eclosion. Of the three species, D. radicum appears most capable of mating immediately after eclosion based on the histology of its reproductive complex, which is consistent with biochemical and behavioral observations made earlier in this laboratory.

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