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Embryogenesis of Calliphora Erythrocephala Meigen. I. Morphology

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

1. A description is given of the morphological events occurring during embryonic development from oviposition up to hatching in Calliphora erythrocephala Meigen. 2. The early embryonic development involves the formation of cells and organ rudiments, which is accompanied by cell divisions and cell movements. 3. The mid-embryonic period is characterized by: a) The appearance of certain organ primordia, such as the salivary glands and the crop. b) Segmentation of thorax and abdomen. c) The outgrowth of certain organ primordia forming organs that are morphologically recognizable. d) The movement into the final position of certain organs by the shortening of the germ band and the involution of the head. e) These processes are accompanied by many cell divisions and cell movements. 4. The late embryonic period is characterized by cellular differentiation into functioning organs. 5. Cell divisions are found up to and including the mid-embryonic period. During functional differentiation no further cell division takes place before hatching. 6. Cells and nuclei become smaller in all organs during the frequent cell divisions occurring at the end of the early embryonic and the beginning of the mid-embryonic period. An earlier decrease in size is seen only in the pole cells, which become smaller as early as during the formation of the blastoderm. 7. After the period of frequent cell division most of the chromatin moves against the nuclear membrane. At the same time, the nuclei and nucleoli increase in size. This pattern points to an activation of RNA synthesis. If RNA synthesis actually does occur, it must precede the differentiation into functioning cells. 8. After the 12th to 15th hour after oviposition, the secretion of specific components such as chitin begins. Hypodermal and tracheal cells, which have to form more chitin than do hindgut and oesophageal cells, begin secretion slightly earlier. Secretion of saliva and tracheal fluid appears earlier, at about the 10th to 12th hour after oviposition. 9. The onset of functioning does not coincide for all organs. Muscles, e.g., begin to contract in stage thin midgut, trachea are filled with air in the last embryonic stage, brush borders of midgut cells are also formed in the last stage, and salivary glands start to show secretory activity as early as at the dorsal closure.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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