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Presumed Chemosensory Hairs in Talitrid Amphipods (Crustacea)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

Abstract Sensory hairs in a number of Talitrid Amphipods were studied by means of scanning electron microscopy. The general pattern is closely similar in all species although minor specific differences seem to occur. Two main morphological types of sensory hairs are present, viz (1) thin-walled hairs and (2) hairs protected by a spine from which only the distal part of the hair protrudes subterminally, giving the impression of a two-tipped spine. Some intermediate types also occur. The terminal part of both types of hair, however, is of exactly the same type with leaf-like protecting cuticular structures and a terminal pore. Therefore it is concluded that they all have at least a similar function, and a previously published analysis of antennular thin-walled hairs in two of the species makes it highly probable on morphological grounds that this function is chemosensory. Both types of hairs are widely distributed on the appendages, although the spine-hairs are more prevalent on the pereiopods, uropods, and telson. Practically every spine carries a sensory appendage and it can be concluded that a wealth of sensory information is received by them. The body wall is provided with numerous structures described in the paper, the function of which is unknown but may well be sensory.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Structural Zoology, University of Lund, Sweden


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