Is Cadlinella ornatissima a chromodorid? – sperm ultrastructure in an enigmatic nudibranch
Sperm ultrastructure is described for the nudibranch gastropod Cadlinella ornatissima, type species of the genus Cadlinella (Thiele). Although C. ornatissima exhibits most of the sperm features characteristic of other Opisthobranchia and the Pulmonata (a small, rounded acrosomal vesicle, a complex, helical, mitochondrial derivative - partially paracrystalline, coarse fibres associated with the axoneme), it also possesses a number of previously undescribed and possibly unique features (a longitudinally inrolled acrosomal pedestal, an axial structure within the cavity of the acrosomal pedestal, the presence of crystalloid bodies within the glycogen helices of the mitochondrial derivative). To our knowledge, this is the first report of crystalloid bodies in mature sperm of any mollusc. Collectively, this evidence raises questions concerning the affinities and systematic position of Cadlinella within the Nudibranchia. The peculiar nature of the sperm differences, in comparison with other investogated nudibranchs, suggest that Cadlinella is not easily linked to either the Cadlinidae or Chromodorididae, and should be considered incertae sedis.