Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 403–408 | Cite as

A general definition of the term “plastron“ in terrestrial and aquatic arthropods

  • Michael Thomas Marx
  • Benjamin Messner
Forum Paper


The term “plastron”, as it applies to terrestrial and aquatic arthropods, has been used in a variety of ways. A generalised and simple definition of this term is provided based on a classification of its structural and functional aspects.


Respiration Physical gill Compressible gill Incompressible gill Structural plastron Functional plastron 



The authors are much obliged to Peter Davie from the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia, Anne Bull as well as two reviewers for very valuable comments and extraordinary help with a former version of the manuscript. Thanks are given to Stephan Borensztajn, Marie Luise Bischoff and Daniela Klein for the pictures of different collembolan species and cuticle structures. The work was financed by the Feldbausch foundation and the Postdoctoral Fellowship of the In-house Research Founding Programme of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz.


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johannes Gutenberg-University MainzInstitute of ZoologyMainzGermany
  2. 2.GreifswaldGermany

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