SOME ASPECTS OF THE PENIS AND ASSOCIATED GLANDS OF THE ADULT AFRICAN FRUIT BAT (Epomops franqueti)
There are sketches of data available on the penis of Megachiroptera. However, there is a dearth of information on the structures of the penis and its associated glands in the adult male Epomops franqueti. The penis is derived from mesoderm, which then differentiates into erectile tissues, connective tissues, smooth muscles, bones, and cartilage in a definite pattern to aid the penile function. The mammalian penis varies across different species in terms of penile shape, length, and appendages. Therefore, this work was aimed at investigating the anatomy of the African fruit bat’s penis and its associated glands. Ten adult male bats were captured and used for this study. The penises were dissected and processed for light microscopy. They were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Mason’s trichrome (MT). Epomops franqueti has an average penile length of 6.20 ± 1.10 mm and a width of 3.56 ± 0.20 mm. The penis of Epomops. franqueti has a pair of corpora cavernosa that is more prominent than the single corpus spongiosum that surrounds the urethra. The prepuce of Epomops franqueti is retractable over the glans penis and it has preputial glands. The glans penis of the bat has no traces of baculum but it is furnished with accessory corpus cavernosum. Bulbourethral gland with simple columnar epithelium is located on the root of the penis, and this finding is novel in this species of bat. Gross and histological investigation reveals that Epomops franqueti has a vascular penis which is typical to mammals.