Anatomy of Chondrichthyans: Notes on Specimen Handling and Sperm Extraction. I. Rays and Skates
P. García-Salinas, V. Gallego, J.F. Asturiano
The superorder Batoidea (rays, skates, and relatives), constitutes one of the most threatened group of vertebrates. Strengthening ex situ conservation programs developed in re-search centers and public aquaria could be a way of addressing this situation. However, captive breeding programs must be improved to prevent the capture of wild animals and to develop proper in situ reintroduction strategies. Sperm extraction and artificial insemination are two techniques commonly used in other threatened species, which could also be used in rays and the like. However, the different reproductive morphologies present within this group of animals may hamper both processes. Here, we present a comparison of the reproductive anatomies of 11 distinct batoid species, emphasizing the important differences between the species when performing sperm extraction or artificial insemination. Both male and female animals, belonging to the Rajidae, Dasyatidae, Torpedinidae and Myliobatidae families, from the Mediterranean Sea were studied. In addition, we describe the procedure to extract sperm using both cannulation and ab-dominal massage, either from live or dead batoids Finally, the obtention of motile sperm re-covered from the oviducal gland of females is described. These techniques generate a new range of possibilities for the conservation of these threatened species.
Animals 11(7): 1888. (2021)