Previous studies have revealed variations in the urogenital system morphology of amphibians. Recently, the urogenital system of salamanders was reviewed and terminology was synonymized across taxa. Discrepancies exist in the terminology describing the urogenital system of anurans, which prompted our group to develop a complete, detailed description of the urogenital system in an anuran species and provide nomenclature that is synonymous with those of other amphibian taxa. In Rana catesbeiana, sperm mature within spermatocysts of the seminiferous tubule epithelia and are transported to a series of intratesticular ducts that exit the testes and merge to form vasa efferentia. Vasa efferentia converge into single longitudinal ducts (Bidder's ducts) on the lateral aspects of the kidneys. Branches from the longitudinal ducts merge with genital kidney renal tubules through renal corpuscles. The nephrons travel caudally and empty into the Wöffian ducts. Similar to salamanders, the caudal portion of the kidneys (termed the pelvic kidneys in salamanders) only possesses nephrons involved in urine formation, not sperm transport. Data from the present study provide a detailed description and synonymous nomenclature that can be used to make future comparative analyses between taxa more efficient.
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Vol. 34 • No. 5