Male rudimentary ovaries: A case of cellular symbiosis in Blattella germanica (L.) (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae)

Marion A. Brooks, T. J. Kurtti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Males of the cockroach, Blattella germanica, possess ovary-like structures with a few small oocytes as a constant feature. The rudimentary ovaries are located, just as female ovaries, in the 4th and 5th abdominal segments. The embryonic development of these organs is reviewed. Symbiotic microorganisms, which are transmitted only ovarially by the female parent, have been found in well-developed male oocytes. It is postulated that the mesoderm of the 4th-5th abdominal segments induces the genetic male egg cells to form yolk, and that the symbiotes are then attracted to the yolk-cytoplasmic substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1972

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This investigation was supported by PHS Research Grants No. AI 00961 and AI 09914 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This is Paper No. 7774, Scientific Journal Series, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • Hermaphrodite
  • bacteroids
  • mycetocytes


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