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Mouthparts of Three Collembolan Species: Comparative Morphology

Benrong Chen, Richard J. Snider and Renate M. Snider
Invertebrate Biology
Vol. 116, No. 4 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 355-362
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3226868
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3226868
Page Count: 8
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Mouthparts of Three Collembolan Species: Comparative Morphology
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Abstract

The mouthparts (labrum, mandibles, and maxillae) of three litter-dwelling collembolan species-Orchesella hexfasciata (Entomobryidae), Isotoma notabilis (Isotomidae), and Sminthurinus henshawi (Sminthuridae)-are described, using both light and scanning electron microscopy. The right molar plate of all three species bears a projection that fits into a corresponding depression on the left molar plate, a previously unnoticed but possibly common and important feature. Based on the free-standing nature of molar plate rods, we suggest a brushing rather than a grinding function. The mouthparts of these species are structurally very similar, but differ in size. Size of labrum and mandibles probably dictates the size of food particles ingested. The rake-like structure of lamella 1 on the maxillar head of I. notabilis may explain why the gut contents of this species consist largely of colloidal material.

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