Embryonic development of a whirligig beetle, Dineutus mellyi, with special reference to external morphology (insecta: Coleoptera, Gyrinidae)

Authors

  • Shintaro Komatsu,

    1. Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minami-ohsawa 1-1, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
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  • Yukimasa Kobayashi

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minami-ohsawa 1-1, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
    • Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minami-ohsawa 1-1, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
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Abstract

The egg morphology and successive changes of developing embryos of the whirligig beetle, Dineutus mellyi (Adephaga: Gyrinidae) are described from observations based on light and scanning electron microscopy. The egg surface is characterized by minute conical projections covering the entire egg surface, a stalk-like micropylar projection at the anterior pole of the egg, and a longitudinal split line along which the chorion is cleaved during the middle embryonic stages. The germ band or embryo is formed on the ventral egg surface, and develops on the surface throughout the egg period; thus, the egg is a superficial type, as is the case in most coleopteran species. A pair of lateral tracheal gills (LTGs) of the first abdominal segment originates from appendage-like projections arising at the lateral side of pleuropodia, and the LTGs of the second to ninth abdominal segments are arranged in a row with that of the first segment. Therefore, LTGs are structures with serial homology. The paired dorsal tracheal gills (DTGs) of the ninth abdominal segment are formed on the regions just latero-dorsal to the LTGs of this segment. Regarding the pleuropodia as the structures being homologous with thoracic legs, neither the LTGs nor DTGs are homologous with thoracic legs, but originate in the more lateral region corresponding to the future pleura of the thoracic segments. The last (10th) abdominal segment in the larva is formed by the fusion of the embryonic 10th and 11th abdominal segments. Four terminal hooks at the end of the last abdominal segment originate from two pairs of swellings on the posterior end of the embryonic 11th abdominal segment. It is proposed that the terminal hooks possibly correspond to the claws of medially fused cerci of the embryonic 11th abdominal segment. J. Morphol. 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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