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Light and electron microscopy has shown the alimentary canal of Paranthessius to be composed of clearly defined foregut, midgut and hindgut regions. The spacious foregut is cuticle-lined and separated from the midgut by a valve. The midgut epithelium is composed of columnar cells with an apparent secretary/absorptive rôle, and amoeboid cells thought to engulf material from the lumen. The amoeboid cells have large electron-dense central vacuoles containing carbohydrate-and protein-staining material. These cells appear to be sloughed off into the lumen to form part of a faecal pellet. Apart from their digestive rôle the midgut cells store lipid and it is considered possible that they have an osmoregulatory function. The hindgut epithelium cell type, lacks a cuticular layer and is thought to be mainly concerned with absorption. The alimentary canal is surrounded by strands of longitudinal and circular muscle.