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Fine structure of the spermatheca of the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor L.)



Fine structure of the spermatheca of the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor L.)



Cell and Tissue Research 162(2): 253-269



The spermatheca of the female mealworm beetle is an inflorescence of branching cuticular ducts which is connected to the bursa copulatrix via a cuticular neck surrounded by a muscular coat. The infolded bursal cuticle consists of a distinct outer epicuticle, inner epicuticle, procuticle, and a subcuticular zone; the latter is rich in mucopolysaccharides. The cuticle of the neck lacks a distinct procuticle. The cuticle of the spermatheca itself is mostly inner epicuticle with two thin underlying lamellae of procuticle. The cells of the bursa are loosely coupled to the procuticle, whereas cuticular projections bind the epithelia of the "neck" and the spermatheca proper to the underlying epithelia. The apical plasma membranes of the spermathecal epithelium are sinuous and much infolded; we believe that this epithelium controls the micro-environment within the cuticular ducts.

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Accession: 015835542

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PMID: 126805

DOI: 10.1007/bf00209210


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