Distal Urogenital Anatomy, Southern Coal Skink


I investigated the morphology and histology of the distal urogenital anatomy of male southern coal skinks (Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis) from reproductively active individuals collected in Arkansas in order to provide comparative information with recent studies on squamate urogenital anatomy. Specifically, I focused on the basic anatomy and positioning of posterior ducts in this skink, which included portions of the ductus deferens, the ampulla ductus deferentis, the sexual segment of the kidney, the ureter and collecting ducts, as well as aspects of the urodaeal chamber and urogenital papillae. I found a much reduced ampulla ductus deferentis comprising only 0.7 mm in length in the caudal region of the ductus deferens. The sexual segment of the kidney was well developed, being located in collecting ducts of the kidney proper, in walls of collecting ducts leading away from the kidney as well as within anterior portions of the ureter. The anterior dorsal recess of the urodaeum possessed epithelial crypts within a highly folded epithelium. Finally, a ductal triad (ductus deferens, ureter, and a single collecting duct) terminates at each orifice of the paired urogenital papillae. The distal urogenital anatomy of this scincid lizard revealed anatomical features similar to other species within the genus Plestiodon.