Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Peter Funch

Morphology and ontogeny of the pectines of Babycurus jacksoni (Scorpiones: Buthidae)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

Pectines are unique mechano- and chemosensory organs of scorpions used in prey capture and mating. All extant species possess one pair of these comb-like sensory structures ventrally on the second mesosomal segment, and each pecten is composed of marginal and medial lamellae that carry numerous pectinal teeth with ventral microscopic sensory pegs. Here we studied the ontogeny and morphology of the pectines in the Tanzanian red bark scorpion, Babycurus jacksoni by comparison of size and morphology of their exuvia and pectines from first instar to adult. Light- and scanning electron microscopy of wholemounts and sectioned material showed: i) a significant correlation between pectine length and instar (P < 0.0001) and isometric pectine growth supported by a non-significant relationship between the proportions of pectine length divided by carapace length to instar (P = 0.4171); ii) an increase in average number of sensory pegs on each pectinal tooth from 282 in second instar to 703 in fifth instar; iii) fields of sensory pegs surrounded by microscopic cuticular spikes with a density of 25 pr. 100 square micrometer; and iv) undeveloped pegs in the first instar. The isometric pectine growth was unexpec-ted because of the important role of pectines in courtship behaviour. The cuticular spikes found here has not been reported from scorpion pectines before and their function should be further investigated. The undeveloped pegs in the first instar are probably not fully functional in agreement with the young non-feeding beha-viour and position on the back of the mother.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearAug 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
EventInternational Congress on Invertebrat Morphology - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 3 Aug 20147 Aug 2014
Conference number: 3


ConferenceInternational Congress on Invertebrat Morphology
LocationHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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