Cross-fertilization was evident in a gonochoric population of the notostracan Triops numidicus, in which a thick, hard eggshell had been suspected of preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Most of the eggs from copulated females hatched into larvae, but the eggs from virgin females did not develop. In the larvae, paternal DNA fragments were detected by AFLP. In histological sections, several spermatozoa were found in the shell of newly oviposited eggs in the brood pouches of copulated females, suggesting that the shell was still soft enough to be penetrated by spermatozoa. These results showed that copulation and subsequent fertilization achieved by penetration of sperm through the newly deposited eggshell were indispensable for the normal development of the eggs.
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