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Franz-Guess, Sandra; Starck, J. Matthias (2016): Histological and ultrastructural analysis of the respiratory tracheae of Galeodes granti (Chelicerata: Solifugae). In: Arthropod Structure & Development, Vol. 45, No. 5: pp. 452-461
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Solifuges lack oxygen-carrying proteins like hemocyanins found in other chelicerates. For conduction of gases, therefore, we hypothesize that the tracheal system is divided into convective and respiratory parts, the latter having intimate association with respiring cells, tissues and organs. This hypothesis is supported by studies of tracheae in other arthropods. We used light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy to examine the tracheae of Galeodes grand (Chelicerata, Solifugae). We studied tracheae in cheliceral and leg muscles, midgut and midgut diverticula, the heart and the supra- and subesophageal ganglia of the central nervous system. In all tissues examined, the tracheae penetrate into tissues and can be found between cells. Terminal branches with diameter less than one micron were found embedded into cell bodies of respiring tissue, thus reducing the diffusion distance. We suggest that the terminal branches are specialized for respiratory function due to their thin intima, with reduced endocuticle and exocuticle. Comparison with other tracheate chelicerates suggests parallel evolution of a common tracheal pattern based on homologous cellular building materials within the chelicerates and arthropods. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.