Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A receptacle in the reproductive tract of many female or hermaphrodite invertebrates and certain female vertebrates, in which spermatozoa are received and stored until needed to fertilize the ova.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A spermatic case, capsule, or sheath; a receptacle for semen; specifically, the seminal receptacle in the female, as of various insects and other invertebrates, which receives and conveys or detains the sperm of the male. More correctly spermatotheca. See cuts under Dendrocœla, ovariole, and Rhabdocœla.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A small sac connected with the female reproductive organs of insects and many other invertebrates, serving to receive and retain the spermatozoa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun anatomy A small sac within the reproductive tract of some female invertebrates, such as insects, which stores sperm until it is used to fertilize the ova.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin sperma, semen; see sperm + theca.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From sperma- + theca.

Examples

  • These spermatozoa, whose number Dr. Leuckart estimates at twenty-five millions, are preserved alive in a special gland known as the spermatheca, that is situate under the ovaries, at the entrance to the common oviduct.

    The Life of the Bee

  • But, the spermatheca is a "last in, first out" structure, thus if any further males inseminate a female, the last mate's sperm is the first in line to fertilise an egg.

    dailyindia.com News Feed

  • But, the spermatheca is a "last in, first out" structure, thus if any further males inseminate a female, the last mate's sperm is the first in line to fertilise an egg.

    dailyindia.com News Feed

  • I often confuse the 2 terms, spermatheca and spermatophore.

    How a glaring error of mine was corrected a year later

  • The spermatheca (also called the bursa copulatrix) is an organ that can't be exchanged, while a spermatophore is a packet of sperm that is given to a slug's (or a snail's) partner during mating and may or may not be stored in the spermatheca.

    How a glaring error of mine was corrected a year later

  • She retains only, in her spermatheca, the seminal liquid where millions of germs are floating, which, until her last day, will issue one by one, as the eggs pass by, and in the obscurity of her body accomplish the mysterious union of the male and female element, whence the worker-bees are born.

    The Life of the Bee

  • In the large cells this pressure would not take place, and the spermatheca would therefore not open.

    The Life of the Bee

  • It is imagined that the narrow aperture of the smaller cells, and the manner in which the form of this aperture compels the queen to bend forward, exercise a certain pressure upon the spermatheca, in consequence of which the spermatozoa spring forth and fecundate the egg as it passes.

    The Life of the Bee

  • Her brain will be smaller, but she will possess enormous ovaries, and a special organ besides, the spermatheca, that will render her almost an hermaphrodite.

    The Life of the Bee

  • Others, again, believe that the queen has perfect control over the muscles that open and close the spermatheca on the vagina; and these muscles are certainly very numerous, complex, and powerful.

    The Life of the Bee

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