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Frantsevich L.,Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology | Gorb S.,University of Kiel | Radchenko V.,Academy Lebedev Street | Gladun D.,Academy Lebedev Street | Polilov A.,Moscow State University
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2014

In this first of three articles we show the construction of the articular part of the elytron, the root. The root bears a conspicuous field of campaniform sensilla. This field was studied using light and scanning electron microscopes. The diversity of shape of the field among beetles, types of orientation of elongated sensilla within the field, individual variability of their number among conspecifics are demonstrated. Elongated sensilla point to the junction of the elytron with the second axillary plate. Presumably, they monitor twist movement in this junction, which is possible if the elytron is open. The goal of the whole project is to reveal the effect of both structure and function of the hind wings and elytra on the morphology of this mechanosensory field. Our data on allometric relationships between the animal size and quantitative characteristics of the field in normally flying beetles provide an important background for further functional analysis of this sensory organ. We selected 14 series of several species belonging to the same taxon but differing in size from big to small. It is revealed that the area of the sensory field is directly proportional to the elytral area, whereas the number of sensilla is proportional to the square root of the elytral area. Despite the great range in the elytral area (1500 times) in series of selected species the area of an external pit or cap of a single sensillum varies only 25-fold. The density of sensilla per unit area of the sensory field increases with decrease of the elytral area. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Frantsevich L.,Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology | Gorb S.,University of Kiel | Radchenko V.,Academy Lebedev Street | Gladun D.,Academy Lebedev Street | And 4 more authors.
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2015

Loss of the flight ability and wing reduction has been reported for many taxa of Coleoptera. If elytra are closed, their roots are clenched between the tergum and the pleuron, forces applied to the elytra can not be transmitted to the field of campaniform sensilla situated on the root. That is why it is plausible to assume that the field becomes redundant in non-flying beetles. We examined the relationships between the hind wing reduction and characters of this mechanosensory field in beetles of six families. We measured the size of the elytron, that of the hind wing and counted the number of sensilla in the sensory field. Mesopterous non-flying beetles retain one half to one third of sensilla present in macropterous species of the same body size. Further reduction of the sensory field in brachypterous species is obvious, but sensilla are still present in insects with strongly reduced wings, as long as their elytra are separable and mesothoracic axillaries are present. Complete loss of sensilla coincides with the existence of a permanent sutural lock. However, some beetles with permanently locked elytra and absence of axillaries still retain few campaniform sensilla. A very special case of an extreme wing modification in feather-wing beetles is considered. No sensilla were revealed either on the root of the elytron or on the basal segment of such fringed wings in flying ptiliid species. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Frantsevich L.,Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology | Gorb S.,University of Kiel | Radchenko V.,Academy Lebedev Street | Gladun D.,Academy Lebedev Street
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2015

Some flying beetles have peculiar functional properties of their elytra, if compared with the vast majority of beetles. A "typical" beetle covers its pterothorax and the abdomen from above with closed elytra and links closed elytra together along the sutural edges. In the open state during flight, the sutural edges diverge much more than by 90°. Several beetles of unrelated taxa spread wings through lateral incisions on the elytra and turn the elytron during opening about 10-12° (Cetoniini, Scarabaeus, Gymnopleurus) or elevate their elytra without partition (Sisyphus, Tragocerus). The number of campaniform sensilla in their elytral sensory field is diminished in comparison with beetles of closely related taxa lacking that incision. Elytra are very short in rove beetles and in long-horn beetles Necydalini. The abundance of sensilla in brachyelytrous long-horn beetles Necydalini does not decrease in comparison with macroelytrous Cerambycinae. Strong reduction of the sensory field was found in brachyelytrous Staphylinidae. Lastly, there are beetles lacking the linkage of the elytra down the sutural edge (stenoelytry). Effects of stenoelytry were also not uniform: Oedemera and flying Meloidae have the normal amount of sensilla with respect to their body size, whereas the sensory field in the stenoelytrous Eulosia bombyliformis is 5-6 times less than in chafers of the same size but with normally linking broad elytra. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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