1993. 1 (1-2)


About authors:

S.N. Iordansky, Department of Zoology and Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Kibalchicha, 6, Moscow 129278, Russia
V.A. Stein-Margolina, A.N.Bach Institute of Biochemistry of Russian Academy of Science, Leninsky prosp., 33, Moscow 117071, Russia


We are grateful to Dr. N.M.Chernova, Moscow Pedagogical University, for her critical reading of the manuscript. We thank Drs. A.D.Petrova, A.B.Lange, and S.Yu.Chaika, Moscow State University, and Dr. V.N.Belozerov, Sankt-Petersburg Universi-ty, for their constructive advice and criticism. We also gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of Ms. O.A.Ovcharenko, Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Moscow State University. The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research.


Fine structure of the cuticle in nymphs and adult stages of Ameronothrus lineatus, Tectocepheus velatus, Parachipteria punc-tata, and Eupelops latipilosusvm examined by means of scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The juvenile stages of these oribatid species from four relatively distant families were characterized by similar anatomical structure of the integument. In adult mites the procuticle was more sclerotized than in the nymphs. Nevertheless, the ultrastracture of procuticle was similar in both juvenile and adult mites of all species. On the contrary, the cerotegument structure varied. As a rule, the cement-wax covering in the nymphs was more intricate than in the adults. The parallelism of the anatomical structures of integument in immature stages was not always observed on the ultrastructural level (only T.velatus and P.punctata showed a detectable similarity of the fine structure of cerotegument). Probably, the complex structure of the cement-wax covering in juvenile stages serves to decrease transpiration and can act as a plastron when the animal is submeiged in the water. The folds of the nymph cuticle may also take part in the formation of the plastron and increase its total volume.


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