Sperm structure of some Neuroptera and phylogenetic considerations

Z.V. Zizzari, P. Lupetti, R.A. Pantaleoni, A. Letardi, R. Dallai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Spermatozoa from members of Hemerobiidae, Chrysopidae and Mantispidae (Arthropoda; Hexapoda: Neuroptera) have been examined by electron microscopy. In all species examined, the nucleus is surrounded by a nuclear envelope that in its anterior domain, fans out laterally into one (Chrysopidae) or two wings (Hemerobiidae and Mantispidae). Furthermore, the anterior sperm region is surrounded by external dense material. In Mantispidae, sperm dimorphism with two types of spermatozoa is also confirmed: paraspermatozoa (not fertilizing), provided with giant axoneme and mitochondrial derivatives, and euspermatozoa (fertilizing). Spermatozoa of Chrysopidae and Mantispidae are characterized by the lack of an acrosome while sperm cells of Hemerobiidae are provided with a bilayered acrosome. Spermatozoa from all the investigated species have axonemes of the conventional insect type, with a 9+9+2 microtubular pattern and with accessory tubules provided with 16 protofilaments. In all the examined taxa the intertubular material has the same localization also observed in all other previously analysed Neuroptera. The mitochondrial derivatives and the accessory bodies in the three families are also described. Hemerobiidae are characterized by the presence of a large groove of the plasma membrane along the right side of the anterior sperm region, which results in an eccentric position of the axoneme. Chrysopidae have large mitochondrial derivatives, which encircle the axoneme. The peculiar feature regarding the nuclear envelope was not seen in other members of neuropteroid insects. These data are discussed in the light of the phylogenetic relationships of the taxa examined. © 2011 Unione Zoologica Italiana.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35 - 44
Number of pages10
JournalItalian Journal of Zoology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Zizzari, Z. V., Lupetti, P., Pantaleoni, R. A., Letardi, A., & Dallai, R. (2011). Sperm structure of some Neuroptera and phylogenetic considerations. Italian Journal of Zoology, 78(1), 35 - 44. https://doi.org/10.1080/11250003.2010.497503