Department of Biology, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and the Exact Sciences, Sao Paulo State University – Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP/IBILCE), Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Received date: February 23, 2015; Accepted date: February 24, 2015; Published date: February 25, 2015
Citation: Alevi KCC (2015) Morphology of Testicular Follicles as Taxonomic Tool in the Subfamily Triatominae. Entomol Ornithol Herpetol 4:e110. doi:10.4172/2161-0983.1000e110
Copyright: © 2015 Alevi KCC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Visit for more related articles at Entomology, Ornithology & Herpetology: Current Research
Triatomines are bloodsucking insects included in the Hemiptera order and Triatominae subfamily . The Triatominae subfamily consists of 148 species distributed in 18 genera and grouped in six tribes, out more, Alberproseniini, Bolboderini, Cavernicolini, Linshcosteini, Rhodniini e Triatomini .
The triatomines present the internal genitalia comprising a pair of testes, two vas deferens, a pair of seminal vesicles, four pairs of accessory glands and ejaculatory duct that open in the aedeagus . Each testis consists of seven seminiferous tubules or testicular follicles entwined and engaged by the testicular membrane .
The number of testicular follicles varies among different species of insects, and may be an important taxonomic tool . In triatomines the number of follicles is always seven. However, the size of the follicles allows the characterization of the genera Rhodnius, Psammolestes, Panstrongylus, Triatoma, Meccus and Mepraia [6-9] (Table 1).
|Length of follicles||Tribo rhodniini||Tribo triatomini|
Table 1: Characterization of six genera by the size of testicular follicles.
Studies of the testicular anatomy were important for the revalidation of the species M. spinolai once was regarded as T. spinolai Lent and collaborators, in1994,  described the testicular follicles for M. spinolai and differences were observed when compared with the genus Triatoma (Table 1), confirming the status of genus Mepraia.
The Rhodniini tribe consists of genus Rhodnius and Psammolestes. The two genera have the same morphological characteristics in the testicular follicles (Table 1), supporting the ancestry monophyletic of tribe . On the other hand, the genus Triatoma and Meccus, which have long been considered synonymous by some researchers, not present differences in the disposition of size the tubules follicular (Table 1).
Therefore, although the morphology of testicular follicles is an important tool taxonomy, it is necessary that new species, genera and tribes should be analyzed, since it few taxons had the morphology of testicular follicles described and interspecific variation within a given genus may occur, as observed in T. rubrofasciata which has a tubule long, two medium, two short and two very short, showing as an exception within the genus Triatoma .