The ultrastructure and function of the silk-producing basitarsus in the Hilarini (Diptera : Ernpididae)

Young, J. H. and Merritt, D. J. (2003) The ultrastructure and function of the silk-producing basitarsus in the Hilarini (Diptera : Ernpididae). Arthropod Structure & Development, 32 2-3: 157-165. doi:10.1016/s1467-8039(03)00006-9


Author Young, J. H.
Merritt, D. J.
Title The ultrastructure and function of the silk-producing basitarsus in the Hilarini (Diptera : Ernpididae)
Journal name Arthropod Structure & Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1467-8039
Publication date 2003-01-01
Year available 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/s1467-8039(03)00006-9
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 32
Issue 2-3
Start page 157
End page 165
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier Science Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
270504 Invertebrate Biology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract The tribe Hilarini (Diptera: Empididae), commonly known as dance flies, can be recognised by their swollen silk-producing prothoracic basitarsus, a male secondary sexual characteristic. The ultrastructure and function of the silk-producing basitarsus from one undescribed morphospecies of Hilarini, 'Hilarempis 20', is presented. Male H. 20 collect small parcels of diatomaceous algae from the surface of freshwater creeks that they bind with silk produced by the gland in the basitarsus. The gift is then presented to females in a nearby swarm, composed predominately of females. The basitarsus houses approximately 12 pairs of class III dermal glandular units that congregate on the ventral side of the cavity. Each gland cell has a large extracellular lumen where secretion accumulates. The lumen drains to the outside via a conducting canal encompassed by a canal cell and a duct extending through the shaft of a specialised secretory spine. The secretory spines lie in pairs in a ventral groove that runs the length of the basitarsus. A comparison of the basitarsal secretory spines with sensilla on the basitarsi of non gland-bearing legs of males, and with non gland-bearing prothoracic. basitarsi of females, suggests that the glandular units are derived from contact chemosensory sensilla. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Entomology
Empidinae
Dance Fly
Mating Behaviour
Nuptial Gift
Glands
Sensilla
Fine-structure
Nuptial Gifts
Tergal Glands
Empididae
Evolution
Flies
Dictyoptera
Expression
Calliphoridae
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 11:30:02 EST