Skip to content


Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Spermatozoan ultrastructure in the trigonioid bivalveNeotrigonia margaritacea Lamarck (Mollusca): Comparison with other bivalves, especially Trigonioida and Unionoida

  • J. M. Healy1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen50:BF02367155


Spermatozoa of the trigonioid bivalveNeotrigonia margaritacea (Lamarck) (Trigoniidae, Trigonioida) are examined ultrastructurally. A cluster of discoidal, proacrosomal vesicles (between 9 to 15 in number) constitutes the acrosomal complex at the nuclear apex. The nucleus is short (2.4–2.6 μm long, maximum diameter 2.2 μm), blunt-conical in shape, and exhibits irregular lacunae within its contents. Five or sometimes four round mitochondria are impressed into shallow depressions in the base of the nucleus as is a discrete centriolar fossa. The mitochondria surround two orthogonally arranged centrioles to form, collectively, the midpiece region. The distal centriole, anchored by nine satellite fibres to the plasma membrane, acts as a basal body to the sperm flagellum. The presence of numerous proacrosomal vesicles instead of a single, conical acrosomal vesicle setsNeotrigonia (and the Trigonioida) apart from other bivalves, with the exception of the Unionoida which are also known to exhibit this multivesicular condition. Spermatozoa ofN. margaritacea are very similar to those of the related speciesNeotrigonia bednalli (Verco) with the exception that the proacrosomal vesicles ofN. margaritacea are noticeably larger than those ofN. bednalli.


Waste WaterPlasma MembraneDepressionWater ManagementWater Pollution