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

  • n. A capsule or compact mass of spermatozoa extruded by the males of certain invertebrates and primitive vertebrates and directly transferred to the reproductive parts of the female.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spermospore.
  • n. A capsule or pocket enclosing a number of spermatozoa, found in many annelids, brachiopods, mollusks, and crustaceans.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as spermospore.
  • n. A capsule or pocket inclosing a number of spermatozoa. They are present in many annelids, brachiopods, mollusks, and crustaceans. In cephalopods the structure of the capsule is very complex.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A special case, capsule, or sheath containing spermatozoa; specifically, one of the peculiar spermatic cysts of cephalopods (also called spermatic or seminal cartridge, seminal rope, or filament of Needham), usually forming a long cylindrical structure in which several envelops may be distinguished.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But, unless it's her first time around the block, there's a decent chance that somebody else's spermatophore is already in there.

    Boing Boing

  • 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

  • Instead of the familiar-to-us method of copulation, male cockroaches produce a hard, little packet full of sperm, called a spermatophore, which they transfer into their favorite gal.

    Boing Boing

  • The first two pleopods of males are modified to transfer sperm to the female, while females have a calcified area between the fourth pair of periopods used to receive the male's spermatophore during copulation.


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

    How a glaring error of mine was corrected a year later

  • The male drops a spermatophore (a packet of sperm) that the female picks and stores in spermathecae until needed.


  • During mating of hermaphrodite land snails, each partner places a spermatophore, a bag of spermatozoa (sperm cells), in their partner's bursa copulatrix (BC).

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • The spermatophore is digested in the BC and only a small fraction of the spermatozoa escapes to the higher parts of the female reproductive system to fertilize the partner's eggs.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • A male leaves its spermatophore in a suitable location and a female, if she happens to chance upon one, takes up the sperm directly from the spermatophore2.

    Archive 2006-01-01

  • For example, in some species of pseudoscorpions, which are terrestrial animals, sperm is transferred from a male to a female in a little packet, a spermatophore, without the 2 sexes ever coming together.

    Archive 2006-01-01


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