, Volume 96, Issue 1–2, pp 77–89 | Cite as

The anatomy and ultrastructure of the antennal circulatory organs in the cockchafer beetle Melolontha melolontha L. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae)

  • Günther Pass


The antennal circulatory organs of Melolontha are described for the first time. They consist of small sac-like ampullae located near the base of each antenna and connected to a long non-muscular antennal blood vessel. Small branches of this vessel extend into each lamella of the antennal club and open out distally. The membranous wall of the ampulla provides no contractile structures. An outer adjacent compressor muscle is responsible for the pumping movements of the ampulla and antagonist to it is an obviously elastic connective tissue band. The position of this elastic band causes the uncontracted muscle to be pulled away from the ampulla. As a consequence blood can enter the dilated ampulla through a valvular ostium. The functional type of the antennal circulatory organs in Melolontha is compared to that found in other insects and their histologic structure is interpreted in relation to mechanical and hemodynamical aspects. Furthermore the possible function of the antennal hearts in connection with the spreading of its lamellate antennal club is discussed.


Blood Vessel Connective Tissue Developmental Biology Functional Type Small Branch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günther Pass
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Zoologie der Universität WienWienAustria

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