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Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Frontal Knobs of the Male Brine Shrimp

Greta E. Tyson and Michael L. Sullivan
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 99, No. 2 (Apr., 1980), pp. 167-172
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3225702
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3225702
Page Count: 6
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Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Frontal Knobs of the Male Brine Shrimp
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Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the external morphology of the frontal knob, a rounded button-like protuberance on the protopodite of each clasper (second antenna) of the male brine shrimp (Artemia sp.). The frontal knob surface that contacts the female's body during clasping behavior possesses two distinct kinds of specializations: (1) numerous recurved spines that originate from concavities in the integument and protrude 1.6-4.3 µm from the general surface of the frontal knob; and (2) less numerous setae that are comprised of a slender shaft and broad basal elevation. The total height of the setae varies from 4.3 to 11.4 µm. Since the setae are innervated, but the spines are not, a sensory function is presumed for the setae. Based upon what is known about the mating behavior of Artemia, it is suggested that the setae are mechanoreceptors sensitive to tactile stimuli and that the spines are specializations which serve to prevent slippage of the frontal knobs while the male is clasping the female.

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