Scheltinga, D.M., Wilkinson, M., Jamieson, B.G.M. and Oommen V.O. 2003. Ultrastructure of the mature spermatozoa of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Journal of Morphology 258: 179-192.

The spermatozoa of Gymnophiona show the following autapomorphies: 1) penetration of the distal centriole by the axial fiber; 2) presence of an acrosomal baseplate; 3) presence of an acrosome seat (flattened apical end of nucleus); and 4) absence of juxta-axonemal fibers. The wide separation of the plasma membrane bounding the undulating membrane is here also considered to be apomorphic. Three plesiomorphic spermatozoal characters are recognized that are not seen in other Amphibia but occur in basal amniotes: 1) presence of mitochondria with a delicate array of concentric cristae (concentric cristae of salamander spermatozoa differ in lacking the delicate array); 2) presence of peripheral dense fibers associated with the triplets of the distal centriole; and 3) presence of a simple annulus (a highly modified, elongate annulus is present in salamander sperm). The presence of an endo-nuclear canal containing a perforatorium is a plesiomorphic feature of caecilian spermatozoa that is shared with urodeles, some basal anurans, sarcopterygian fish, and some amniotes. Spermatozoal synapomorphies are identified for 1) the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae, and 2) the Caeciliidae and Typhlonectidae, suggesting that the members of each pair of families are more closely related to each other than to other caecilians. Although caecilian spermatozoa exhibit the clear amphibian synapomorphy of the unilateral location of the undulating membrane and its axial fiber, they have no apomorphic characters that suggest a closer relationship to either the Urodela or Anura.