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Van De Kamp T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Dos Santos Rolo T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Vagovic P.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Vagovic P.,German Electron Synchrotron | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Digital surface mesh models based on segmented datasets have become an integral part of studies on animal anatomy and functional morphology; usually, they are published as static images, movies or as interactive PDF files. We demonstrate the use of animated 3D models embedded in PDF documents, which combine the advantages of both movie and interactivity, based on the example of preserved Trigonopterus weevils. The method is particularly suitable to simulate joints with largely deterministic movements due to precise form closure. We illustrate the function of an individual screw-and-nut type hip joint and proceed to the complex movements of the entire insect attaining a defence position. This posture is achieved by a specific cascade of movements: Head and legs interlock mutually and with specific features of thorax and the first abdominal ventrite, presumably to increase the mechanical stability of the beetle and to maintain the defence position with minimal muscle activity. The deterministic interaction of accurately fitting body parts follows a defined sequence, which resembles a piece of engineering. © 2014 van de Kamp et al. Source


van de Kamp T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | van de Kamp T.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Riedel A.,State Museum of Natural History SMNK | Greven H.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2016

The elytral cuticle of 40 beetle species, comprising 14 weevils (Curculionoidea) and 26 representatives of other taxa, is examined. All weevils and 18 other species have an endocuticle with prominent macrofibers, which corresponds to a modified pseudo-orthogonal cuticle. Angles between successive layers of macrofibers range between 30° and 90°, but are constantly less than 60° in weevils. In all Curculionoidea, as well as in one buprestid and one erotylid species exo- and endocuticle are densely interlocked. In the weevil Sitophilus granarius, transmission electron microscopy revealed vertical microfibrils extending from the exocuticle between the macrofibers of the underlaying endocuticle. Vertical microfibrils connecting successive macrofiber layers of the endocuticle were observed in S. granarius and Trigonopterus nasutus. Distinct cuticular characters are traced on a beetle phylogeny: the angles between unidirectional endocuticle layers; the presence and the shape of endocuticular macrofibers; and the interlocking of exo- and endocuticle. While character traits seem to be more or less randomly distributed among Coleoptera, the Curculionoidea have a uniform groundplan: The "weevil-specific" combination of characters includes 1) interlocking of exo- and endocuticle, 2) an endocuticle with distinct ovoid macrofibers embedded in a matrix and 3) comparatively small angles between successive endocuticular layers. Thus, phylogenetic constraints appear equally important to functional factors in the construction of the weevil elytron. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


van de Kamp T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Cecilia A.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | dos Santos Rolo T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Vagovic P.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2015

The thorax morphology, especially the muscles and the tracheal system of three flightless species of Cryptorhynchinae is examined by digital 3D reconstructions based on synchrotron X-ray microtomography and compared to other Curculionidae. Wings, metanepisternites, and muscles functional in flight are fully reduced in the species examined: Kyklioacalles roboris (Curtis), Trigonopterus scharfi Riedel and Trigonopterus vandekampi Riedel. All three share the same set of thoracic muscles, but differences exist in the shape and size of muscles. Both Trigonopterus species examined have a conspicuous fan-shaped branch of Musculus mesosterni primus contracting pro- and mesothorax, interpreted as an adaption to their thanatosis defense strategy. Trigonopterus vandekampi furthermore shows a marked increase in the size of two metacoxal muscles, which may be functional in this species' thanatosis blocking mechanisms. The metathoracic spiracle of all Trigonopterus species is located at the side of the metaventrite externally and not in the subelytral space as in other beetles. It is hypothesized that this translocation was triggered by the need to improve oxygen supply during thanatosis, when both the mesothoracic spiracle and the subelytral cavity are tightly sealed from the outside. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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