Comparative morphology of the tibial flexor and extensor tendons in insects

Authors

  • DAVID G. FURTH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Entomology, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, U.S.A.
      Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • KUNIO SUZUKI

    1. *Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts, Toyama University, Gofuku, Toyama, 930 Japan
    Search for more papers by this author

Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Abstract

Abstract. The relative size, orientation, and degrees of sclerotization of the tibial flexor and extensor tendons are compared in nineteen orders of insects. The sclerotized, independently movable tibial flexor sclerite, known previously only from Alticinae and Carabidae (Coleoptera), is found in some other Coleoptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera and Heteroptera. The Heteroptera also have another small sclerite at the base of the tibial extensor tendon. The tibial flexor sclerite is presumed to provide additional strength and leverage to the flexion of the tibia in certain insect groups; it may also provide protection for the ventral side of the femoro-tibial joint of the leg.

Ancillary