Reproductive biology of the Clinidae
The family Clinidae include species that form pairs and establish nest-territories where the eggs are deposited and cared for, as well as viviparous species in which the ripe eggs of the female are fertilized within the extended ovaries and each embryo develops within its own follicular envelope. In these species the introduction of sperm into the female is done by a special intromittent muscular papilla at the apex of which is the male genital pore. There are two projects in this programme. The first is a comparative study of the structure and function of the male and female reproductive system and early development, and is being done in collaboration with Lev Fishelson of Tel-Aviv University, Israel. The second is a study of paternity in individual viviparous species found in South Africa and is carried out in collaboration with Gavin Gouws of SAIAB. The first project was completed at the end of 2009 and produced several paper showing distinct differences between South African and Australian clinid in certain aspects of their reproductive system and early development.