MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Can some female fish store sperm?

Date: Wed Apr 17 13:28:33 2002
Posted By: David Hubble, Staff, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Nottingham
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1018923419.Gb

Hi Krystal

I assume you already know a bit about your guppies - e.g. they are 
livebearing (viviparous) with the male using a modified anal fin 
(gonopodium) to inseminate the female.

Female guppies are indeed able to store sperm (in an organ called the 
spermatheca), and can produce up to 8 broods of young from a single 
insemination. The gestational period is about four weeks for most 
livebearing species, including the common aquarium species and females can 
store sperm for several months - so she may well have more births yet!

I hope that answers your question

Dr Dave Hubble

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