Oviparous, ovoviviparous and viviparous reproduction are interesting subjects for understanding animals' evolutionary pathways and adaptation to their life history and habitat conditions. In this study, we examined the reproductive mode of the ovoviviparous mayfly Cloeon dipterum, particularly comparing embryogenesis between hand-pairing and unmated females' common oviduct. Our study suggested that the high developmental rate of C. dipterum observed in a recent study could be ascribed to their absorption of unfertilized eggs. The developmental rates of hand-paired females were almost 100%, while their egg-bearing numbers were lower than those of virgin females. Thus, such reduced egg numbers suggest the maternal absorption of unfertilized eggs. This trait is thought to have evolved with the ovoviviparous characteristics of C. dipterum. We identified the basis of the irregularity of this species exhibiting such a high (i.e., 100%) developmental rate in our previous recent study.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1