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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT All thoracic limbs of Hutchinsoniella except for the ninth contain a small gland composed entirely of podocytes. At the periphery of the gland, each podocyte bears foot processes associated with the investing basal lamina; centrally, there is no conspicuous lumen. Such postcephalic podocytes, either in compact glands or in a more diffuse arrangement, have also been found in decapods, mysids, and isopods, and perhaps occur in other crustaceans as well. Podocytes are known to filter hemolymph and to pinocytotically extract constituents of the filtrate for modification and storage of residues. Histologically, the thoracic limb glands of Hutchinsoniella are identical to the end sac of the maxillary and antennal glands, but differ in not having a lumen or exit duct. The second maxilla lacks this gland, even though it is identical to thoracic limbs in every other way. On the basis of podocyte histology and distribution in the animal, we conclude that these glands are serially homologous to the end sac of the maxillary and antennal glands, and are descendant from the segmentally repetitious ancestral excretory system.


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