Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CSI for crabs

Remember that sweet male snow crab who protected his female by hoisting her in the air? Well, I have hard evidence that they did in fact mate:

spermatheca from the lucky lady

Pretty awesome, huh? Joel Webb removed the spermathecae from my females after their mating experiments to see if copulation really occurred. The dark color is from the spermatheca's reaction to a foreign object (the spermatophores). Joel showed me how to dissect the spermatheca so that I could measure the sperm load too! You can see that the male didn't quite, er, fill her up:

So there you have it! The proof is in the spermathecae!

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