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Sperm Atlas: A-Z Index

The Sperm Atlas illustrates and describes sperm morphology from animals at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and other organizations. The database was created and curated by the SDZWA Reproductive Sciences team.

Sperm Atlas Index

Desert tortoise sperm

Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) sperm. Credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


The Sperm Atlas is a sperm morphology database highlighting sperm cells collected from animals at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and other contributing organizations. It was created by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Reproductive Sciences team. The portal is maintained by SDZWA Reproductive Sciences and the SDZWA Library. An updated version of the atlas including scanning electron microscope images can be found at (please see link in green below)

Use the links in the boxes to the right to view/download individual species records.To view records by taxonomic category, select one of the page tabs above. 

History of the Sperm Atlas

In February 2009, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Reproductive Sciences team created a database to display the diversity of sperm morphology in the animal kingdom. Using the Alliance's historical slide inventory, including slides dating back to 1980, a database was created with the intention of making it available to the public. 

This database, the Sperm Atlas, highlights sperm cells collected by the Reproductive Sciences team over four decades. The cells represent animals from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and other contributing organizations. Many represent samples from sperm currently frozen and stored in the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Frozen Zoo®.

We continue to add samples to the atlas as they become available. The measurements are often averages from several specimens. This project was born of a realization that no other online, free-access, animal sperm atlas existed. The Reproductive Sciences team wanted to share this unique resource with other researchers, teachers, students, and anyone interested in biology and inspired by the wonder of nature's diversity.

All Species — Common Name A-Z

All Species — Scientific Name A-Z