Jamieson, B.G.M. 1993c. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of Potamonautes perlatus sidneyii (Heterotremata, Brachyura, Crustacea). South African Journal of Zoology 28, 40-45.
The spermatozoa of Potamon fluviatile and P. ibericum are virtually indistinguishable and do not support separate subgeneric rank (Potamon and Pontipotamon, respectively). Synapomorphic with the spermatozoa of the South African freshwater crab Potamonautes perlatus sidneyi are the elongation of the two centrioles and disposition of the centrioles almost parallel to each other, unknown elsewhere in the Brachyura, and reduction of the thickened ring (homoplasic with grapsids and gecarcinids). Other, probably synapomorphic, similarities of Potamon and Potamonautes include the wide inner acrosome zone, absence of a definite acrosome ray zone (homoplasic in other families) and the cleistospermial spermatophores. Further similarities, of questionable polarity, are the simple, not multilaminar, nuclear membrane and the tendency of the nuclear arms to wrap around the nucleus. Differences of Potamon from Potamonautes, which possibly support their present generic separation and give weak support to their former separate familial placement in the Potamidae and Potamonautidae respectively, are perforation of the operculum and the weak, rather than strong, development of a periopercular rim. Absence in Potamon and Potamonautes of an accessory opercular ring and a xanthid ring separates them from xanthids. No close affinities with other heterotreme families are seen but their assignment to the Heterotremata is not in doubt. Their spermatozoa lack two of the distinctive features of thoracotreme spermatozoa (apical button on the operculum and concentric lamellation of the outer acrosome zone). No clear correlates of spermatozoon structure with a freshwater existence are recognizable but reduction of the thickened ring possibly relates to peculiarities of the acrosome reaction. However, the production of spermatophores with single spermatozoa (cleistospermia) is possibly a device to prevent polyspermy and wastage of the small number of lecithotrophic eggs produced in potamids.