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Zoomorphology

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 105–114 | Cite as

Functional morphology and movements of the proboscis of Lepidoptera (Insecta)

  • Harald W. Krenn
Article

Summary

The mouthparts of Lepidoptera were investigated in a number of species by morphological and cinematographical methods. Both the galeae (which compose the proboscis) and the basal maxillary components (stipites) were studied in the resting position, in motion, and during feeding. In the resting position the proboscis is coiled so tightly that the surfaces of the consecutive coils are in close contact and the outermost coil touches the ventral side of the head. Cuticular processes of the galeal wall interlock between the coils in this position. In the investigated species they occur on the galeal wall and on the ventral side of the head in varying number and distribution. By the extension of the basal galeal joint, the coiled proboscis is released from its resting position and is elevated continuously. It uncoils in 3–5 steps which effect the entire length simultaneously. Each uncoiling step occurs synchronously with a compression of the stipital tubes on either side of the body. These compression movements pump hemolymph into the galeae. In all investigated Lepidoptera the uncoiled proboscis shows a distinct downward bend at a certain point which is also detectable in anaesthetized or freshly killed animals in some species. This feeding position and the movements of the uncoiled proboscis are similar in all species despite the intrinsic galeal muscles being variously arranged in the galeal lumen in different Lepidoptera. When comparing cross-sections through corresponding regions of coiled and uncoiled proboscises, the curvatures of the dorsal galeal walls remain unchanged. Coiling of the proboscis starts at the tip and progresses to the base. After coiling the proboscis tightly beneath the head, the diameter of the spiral widens due to its elastic properties until the proboscis props itself against the ventral side of the head. This elastic effect combined with the interlocking cuticular processes seems to be responsible for the resting position of the proboscis.

Keywords

Developmental Biology Elastic Property Close Contact Entire Length Ventral Side 
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.

Abbreviations

an

antenna

bre

bend region

ca

cardo

ci

cibarium

cl

clypeus

co

complex eye

cp

cuticular process

dre

distal region

esm

external tentoriostipital muscle

fc

food canal

fst

flat part of the stipes

ga

galea

hs

horizontal septum

igm

intrinsic galeal muscles

ism

internal tentoriostipital muscle

la

labium

lap

labial palpus

lr

labrum

mxp

maxillary palpus

ne

nerve

pi

pilifer

pom

primary oblique galeal muscles

pr

proboscis

pre

proximal region

sa

salivarium

se

sensillum

som

secondary oblique galeal muscles

st

stipes

stl

stipital lamella

te

tentorium

tr

trachea

tst

tubular part of the stipes

vm

ventral membrane

vs

vertical septum

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harald W. Krenn
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches InstitutUniversität WienWienAustria

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