Healy, J.M., Buckland-Nicks, J.A. and Jamieson, B.G.M. 2001e. Spermatozoal ultrastructure of spiny oysters (Spondylidae, Bivalvia) including a comparison with other bivalves. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 40 (1): 27-37.

Sperm ultrastructure in three representative species of the marine bivalve family Spondylidae ("spiny or thorny oysters") is examined and compared with available data on other bivalves, especially other families of the subclass Pteriomorphia. Spondylid spermatozoa are of the externally fertilizing aquasperm type (ect-aquasperm). The acrosomal vesicle is conical with a deep basal invagination extending almost the full length of the vesicle. Vesicle contents are divisible into an inner, highly electron-dense anterior layer and a less dense posterior layer. The anterior layer is folded back on itself posteriorly and exhibits radiating plates (best developed peripherally). The vesicle rests on, and is partially embedded in, an extensive granular deposit of subacrosomal material at the nuclear apex. This deposit extends partly into acrosomal vesicle invagination and also fills a broad depression in the anterior of the nucleus. No pre-formed axial rod (perforatorium) is present. The nucleus is round-pyriform and its contents coarsely fibro-granular. At the base of the nucleus, four broad depressions partially accommodate the midpiece mitochondria. The midpiece consists the four spherical mitochondria and the proximal and distal centrioles. The centrioles are arranged at approximately 90degree to each other, and each consists of nine, angularly-oriented, microtubular triplets embedded in a granular matrix. A short, periodically banded rootlet connects the proximal centriole to the nuclear fossa, whereas the distal centriole, which forms the basal body to the flagellar axoneme, is anchored to the plasma membrane by nine terminally forked satellite fibres. Extensive deposits of putative glycogen rosettes surround the centrioles and mitochondria. The flagellum consists of a 9+2 axoneme sheathed by the plasma membrane. Spondylid spermatozoa strongly resemble those of the Pectinidae, further confirming the traditional view (based on comparative anatomy and shell morphology) of a close relationship between the Spondylidae and the Pectinidae. Differences in acrosomal shape and dimensions were noted between the three species examined, indicating potential taxonomic utility for comparative sperm ultrastructure within the Spondylidae.