1991 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 391-394
In the copulating cottid species, Blepsias cirrhosus, the point at which fertilization occurred was determined experimentally. Ovulated eggs were obtained directly from the ovary of impregnated females. Eggs maintained in ovarian fluid did not show any signs of development, whereas most of the eggs which had been placed in seawater had developed to the 4-cell stage after 24 hrs. The eggs kept in ovarian fluid initiated segmentation when later transferred into seawater. Histological examination showed that a number of spermatozoa had entered the micropyle, but that penetration did not occur in eggs that were not immersed in seawater. In these eggs, the metaphase spindle of the second meiotic division was observed in the ooplasm, at the animal pole. These results indicate that, in impregnated females, the spermatozoa associate with the eggs in the ovarian cavity, but that fertilization occurs externally when the eggs are spawned.