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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The development of the distinctive epicuticle of the marine littoral isopod Idotea baltica is described. Synthesis of the outer epicuticle is conventional. However, formation of the outer layer of the inner epicuticle is unusual among arthropods in that this layer appears to be formed from materials released simultaneously from both epidermal microvilli and Golgiderived secretory vesicles. During central zone formation electron-dense fibres join the tips of apical plasma membrane microvilli to the developing inner epicuticle. Vesicles, which are found in the epicuticle, are observed only when the latter is completely formed. Aspects of the formation of certain structures within the epicuticle are correlated with specific molt cycle events, and their significance is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: (CVLP) Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X9, Canada;; 2: (KH) Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 4L5, Canada.


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