Gametogenesis studies are important to understand ecological and evolutionary processes. We report the first detailed description of spermatogenesis in amphisbaenians and describe the morphology of the male germ cells of Amphisbaena silvestrii and the organization of the germinal epithelium. We sampled the testes of 25 specimens and cut 3-μm thick sections. We then stained these sections by using 1% toluidine blue and photo-documented them. Testes are covered by the tunica albuginea that sends septa between the seminiferous tubules. The interstitial tissue is highly vascularized and consists of loose connective tissue with Leydig cells. Seminiferous tubules are coiled and coated with juxtaposed myoid cells. Sertoli cells and sperm series present a digitiform or pyramidal organization. We observed eight stages of development of the spermatids and the final maturation of spermatozoa during spermiogenesis. Further, we noted significant variation in the nuclear diameters of germ cells. This trait could be used to characterize germ cell types.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1