Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse


  Functional adaptations in the tergite cuticle of the desert isopod Hemilepistus reaumuri (Milne-Edwards, 1840)

Ernst, F., Fabritius, H.-O., Griesshaber, E., Reisecker, C., Neues, F., Epple, M., et al. (2020). Functional adaptations in the tergite cuticle of the desert isopod Hemilepistus reaumuri (Milne-Edwards, 1840). Journal of Structural Biology, 212(1): 107570. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2020.107570.

Item is


show Files




Ernst, Franziska1, Author           
Fabritius, Helge-Otto2, 3, Author           
Griesshaber, Erika4, Author           
Reisecker, Christian5, Author           
Neues, Frank6, Author           
Epple, Matthias7, Author           
Schmahl, Wolfgang W.4, Author           
Hild, Sabine8, Author           
Ziegler, Andreas Siegfried9, Author           
1Central Facility for Electron Microscopy, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89069, Ulm, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Biological Composites, Microstructure Physics and Alloy Design, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society, ou_1863385              
3Bionics and Materials Development, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Marker Allee 76-78, 59063 Hamm, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, LMU Munich, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Institute of Polymer Science, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Altenbergerstraße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria, ou_persistent22              
6Inorganic Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstraße 5-7, 45117 Essen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CeNIDE), University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 5-7, 45117 Essen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Head of the Institute of Polymer Science, Johannes Kepler University, Austria, ou_persistent22              
9Central Facility for Electron Microscopy, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm 89069, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: calcium carbonate; magnesium, adaptation; animal structures; animal tissue; Article; cuticle; female; hardness; Hemilepistus reaumuri; Isopoda; male; mineralization; nonhuman; priority journal; rigidity; tergite; tissue distribution
 Abstract: To survive in its extreme habitat, the cuticle of the burrowing desert isopod Hemilepistus reaumuri requires properties distinct from isopods living in moist or mesic habitats. In particular, the anterior tergites are exposed to high mechanical loads and temperatures when individuals guard the entrance of their burrow. We have, therefore, investigated the architecture, composition, calcite texture and local mechanical properties of the tergite cuticle, with particular emphasis on large anterior cuticle tubercles and differences between the anterior and posterior tergite. Unexpectedly, structure and thickness of the epicuticle resemble those in mesic isopod species. The anterior tergite has a thicker endocuticle and a higher local stiffness than the posterior tergite. Calcite distribution in the cuticle is unusual, because in addition to the exocuticle the endocuticle distally also contains calcite. The calcite consists of a distal layer of dense and highly co-oriented crystal-units, followed proximally by irregularly distributed and, with respect to each other, misoriented calcite crystallites. The calcite layer at the tip of the tubercle is thicker relative to the tubercle slopes, and its crystallites are more misoriented to each other. A steep decrease of local stiffness and hardness is observed within a distal region of the cuticle, likely caused by a successive increase in the ACC/calcite ratio rather than changes in the degree of mineralisation. Comparison of the results with other isopods reveals a much lower ACC/calcite ratio in H. reaumuri and a correlation between the degree of terrestriality of isopod species and the magnesium content of the cuticle. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-10-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.jsb.2020.107570
 Degree: -



Legal Case


Project information


Source 1

Title: Journal of Structural Biology
  Abbreviation : J. Struct. Biol.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: San Diego, CA : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 212 (1) Sequence Number: 107570 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1047-8477
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650160