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Cell Tissue Res. 1975 Dec 29;165(1):23-36.

Ultrastructure of the compound eye of the diploid female beetle, Xyleborus ferrugineus.


The compound eye of female (diploid) Xyleborus ferrugineus beetles was examined with scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The eye is emarginate, and externally consists of roughly 70-100 facets. Each ommatidium is composed of a thickly biconvex lenslet with about 50 electron dense and rare layers. The lens facet overlies a crystalline cone of the acone type which is roughly hourglass-shaped. Pigment cells envelop the entire ommatidium, and pigment granules also are abundant throughout the cytoplasm of the 8 retinular cells. The rhabdomeres of 2 centrally situated photoreceptor cells effectively fuse into a rhabdom that extends from the base of the crystalline cone deeply into the ommatidium. Six distal peripheral retinular cells encircle the 2 central cells, and their rhabdomeres join laterally to form a rhabdomeric ring around the central rhabdom. The rhabdom and rhabdomeric ring are effectively separated by the cytoplasm of the two central retinular cells which contains the usual organelles and an abundance of shielding pigment granules. Eight axons per ommatidium gather in a tracheae-less fascicle before exiting the eye through the fenestrate basement membrane. No tracheation was observed among the retinular cells. Each Semper cell of each observed crystalline cone contained an abundance of virus-like particles near the cell nucleus. The insect is laboratory reared, and the visual system seems very amenable to photoreceptor investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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