Chelicerate Cuticle Structure



It is almost impossible to exaggerate the significance of the cuticle in the life of an arthropod, for the cuticle and the epidermal cells which secrete it together comprise the tissue system which forms the exoskeleton. The ability of the cuticle to become hardened in some regions, yet to remain soft in immediately adjacent areas, allows body segments to move against adjacent segments and limb podomeres to operate against adjacent podomeres. The strength and developmental plasticity of the cuticle has allowed a tremendous variety of body shapes and limb types to be developed. Even one of the supposed disadvantages of possessing a rigid exoskeleton, the necessity for periodic moulting to allow further growth, may be viewed as conferring the advantage of allowing gradual remodelling during development or even drastic reshaping during metamorphoses.


Transmission Electron Microscope Examination Cement Layer Pore Canal Black Widow Cuticle Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe UniversityManchesterEngland

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