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Arachnid oenocytes: Ecdysone synthesis in the legs of harvestmen (Opilionidae)

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Cells measuring up to 130 μm have been found in the proximal segments of the femora of all four pairs of walking legs in various species of harvestmen (Phalangium opilio, Leiobonum limbatum, Opilio parietinus, and Opilio ravennae). These cells exhibit all the fine-structural characteristics of insect oenocytes, in particular the conspicuous agranular endoplasmic reticulum. Radioimmunoassay after in vitro incubation of these cells has demonstrated the synthesis of α- and β- ecdysone. These ecdysteroids have been found in the ovaries and tergites of the opisthosoma as well as in the oenocytes.

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We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for the provision of funds for equipment and personnel

Send offprint requests to: Institut für Zoologie der Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Saarstraße 21, 65 Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany

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Romer, F., Gnatzy, W. Arachnid oenocytes: Ecdysone synthesis in the legs of harvestmen (Opilionidae). Cell Tissue Res. 216, 449–453 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00233631

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Key words

  • Oenocytes
  • Arachnids
  • Fine structure
  • Ecdysone synthesis