Contributions to Zoology, 86 (3) – 2017Xin Tong; Lu Jiang; Bao-Zhen Hua: A unique mating pattern of Panorpodes kuandianensis (Mecoptera: Panorpodidae)

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Male and female genitalia

The genital segment (abdominal segment IX, A9) of male P. kuandianensis consists of a dorsal epandrium (tergum IX), a ventral hypandrium (sternum IX), and the median genitalia (Figs 2a, b). The genitalia consist of a central aedeagus, a pair of parameres, and a pair of lateral gonopods (Fig. 2a). The gonopods are fused at the base, each comprising a basal gonocoxite and a distal gonostylus (Figs 2a, b).

The epandrium is broad basally and nearly parallel apically. Two short, round-tipped cerci are born on the lateral sides of abdominal segment XI (A11) and extend out from below the epandrium (Fig. 2b).

The hypandrium consists of a long broad basal stalk and a pair of short distal hypovalves (Figs 2e, f). Each hypovalve has a rounded incrassate process, which is situated basally on the inner margin of the hypovalve and covered with spinules on the dorsal surface (Fig. 2f).


Fig. 2. Male and female genitalia of Panorpodes kuandianensis. a, male genital bulb in ventral view, with the hypandrium removed; b, the same, dorsal view; c, gonostylus, mesal view; d, gonostylus, dorsal view; e, hypandrium, ventral view; f, hypandrium, dorsal view; g, terminal end of female abdomen in dorsal view; h, the same, ventral view. BP, basal process; BS, basal stalk; BT, basal tooth; Ce, cercus; Ep, epandrium; Gc, gonocoxite; Gs, gonostylus; Hv, hypovalve; IP, incrassate process; Pm, paramere; SP, subgenital plate; T9−T10, tergum IX−X.

The paired gonocoxites fuse basally to form a U-shaped concavity from the middle part to accommodate the aedeagus centrally (Fig. 2a). Each gonostylus has a prominent lobe-like basal tooth and a well-developed finger-shaped basal process. The elongate basal process bears numerous conical sensilla (Figs 2c, d).

Each paramere is composed of an applanate ventral branch, a strongly-sclerotized dorsal branch with a lateral process arising from the middle part, and a slender basal stalk. The parameres cling to the aedeagus, so that the ventral branches are unable to stretch ventrally from the aedeagus (Figs 2a, 3b).

The aedeagus is an interconnecting organ of the male, and consists of a pair of ventral valves, a pair of dorsal valves, and a central phallotreme. The ventral valves are usually concealed by parameres (Figs 3a, b).


Fig. 3. Male aedeagus and female genital plate of Panorpodes kuandianensis. a, aedeagus, dorsal view; b, aedeagus, caudal view; c, genital plate, caudoventral view; d, genital plate, caudal view. CP, copulatory pore; DP, dorsal paramere; DPr, dorsal process; DV, dorsal valve; LP, lateral process; Pt, phallotreme; SA, sculptured area; VP, ventral paramere; VV, ventral valve.

The female genitalia consist mainly of a genital plate and a subgenital plate (Figs 2g, h). The subgenital plate is oblong with two weakly-sclerotized sclerotomes (Fig. 2h). The two sclerotomes curve dorsally to form a genital chamber, inside which the genital plate is situated.

The female genital plate is a short strongly-sclerotized structure, situated at the base of the genital chamber. The orifice of the spermathecal duct is located ventrally at the sub-apical area of the genital plate distal to the sculptured area (Figs 3c, d).