AskDefine | Define spermatophore

Extensive Definition

A spermatophore is a capsule or mass created by males of various invertebrate species, containing spermatozoa and transferred in entirety to the female's ovipore during copulation. It may contain nourishment for the female, in which case it is called a nuptial gift, though recent research has indicated that this "gift" provides little nutrient value (for an exception, see Mormon cricket).
In various insects, such as Bush Crickets, the spermatophore is often surrounded by a proteonaceous spermatophylax.The function of the spermatophylax is to cause the female to relinquish some of her control over the insemination process allowing full sperm transfer from the spermatophore.
Some vertebrates also reproduce via spermatophores. Males of many salamander and newt species create spermatophores, which the females may choose to take up or not, depending on the success of the male's mating display.
spermatophore in German: Spermatophore
spermatophore in Spanish: Espermatóforo
spermatophore in Esperanto: Spermujo
spermatophore in French: Spermatophore
spermatophore in Portuguese: Espermatóforo
spermatophore in Finnish: Spermatofori
spermatophore in Chinese: 精囊
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