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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Wolf, Klaus W.; Reid, Walton A.; Watson, Alison
Author Role
n/a
Author Affiliation
Electron Microscopy Unit
Paper/Section Title
Filamentous material covering egg batches of the Moth Spodoptera pulchella (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Medium Designator
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Editor/Compiler
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Editor/Compiler Role
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Proceedings Title
Sixth Conference of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences at the University of the West Indies edited by Daniel N. Coore and Robert J. Lancashire
Date of Meeting
March 18-20, 2003
Place of Meeting
University of the West Indies, Mona. Kingston, Jamaica
Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
Publisher Name
Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences
Date of Publication
2003
Date of Copyright
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Volume ID
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Location in Work
84
Extent of Work
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Series Editor
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Series Editor Role
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Series Title
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Series Volume ID
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Location/URL
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ISBN
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Notes
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Abstract
Deposited eggs of animals are subjected to mechanical damage, predators, parasites, desiccation, flooding, and other harmful effects, and may have to be fastened to the substrate. Strategies have evolved to deal with these challenges. It has observed that certain moths cover their egg batches with scales or filaments for camouflage, signaling toxicity or for mechanical protection (for a review, see Eisner et al., 2002). The structure of the diverse substances has as far as were aware not been analyzed in detail. We have selected a representative of the Noctuidae, S. pulchella, for a study of the morphology and arrangement of filaments covering its egg batches. Observations via the dissecting microscope reveal that S. Pulchella deposits its eggs in a single layer. The egg batches are completely buried beneath a sheet of irregularly oriented filaments, and their function lies in all likehood in the mechanical protection of their eggs from parasites as well as fastening of the eggs to the plant surface. A high resolution analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy of an egg batch, prepared according to standard procedures, revealed that the filaments are hexagonal with segment ridges. Between the ridges, a prominent relatively regular cross striation is detectable besides subtler forms of sculpturing. Thus, the surface morphology of the filaments is surprisingly complex. Individual filaments are not interconnection and their ends taper. At present, we can only speculate about the chemical composition of the filaments with a chitinous nature common in insects most likely. Attempts are underway, to this test assumption.....
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