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Open Access Interaction of the tracheal tubules of Scutigera coleoptrata (Chilopoda, Notostigmophora) with glandular structures of the pericardial septum

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Notostigmophora (Scutigeromorpha) exhibit a special tracheal system compared to other Chilopoda. The unpaired spiracles are localized medially on the long tergites and open into a wide atrium from which hundreds of tracheal tubules originate and extend into the pericardial sinus. Previous investigators reported that the tracheal tubules float freely in the hemolymph. However, here we show for the first time that the tracheal tubules are anchored to a part of the pericardial septum. Another novel finding is this part of the pericardial septum is structured as an aggregated gland on the basis of its specialized epithelium being formed by hundreds of oligocellular glands. It remains unclear whether the pericardial septum has a differently structure in areas that lack a connection with tracheal tubules. The tracheal tubules come into direct contact with the canal cells of the glands that presumably secrete mucous substances covering the entire luminal cuticle of the tracheal tubules. Connections between tracheae and glands have not been observed in any other arthropods.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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