“…mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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- Note on photography: unless otherwise mentioned, all subjects are photographed live and 'in-situ'--in the field. White-background images are taken without added cooling, freezing or other manipulation.
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© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adrian Thysse and 'Splendour Awaits', with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Tag Archives: Insect wing
The saga continues: Entomology 101: Wing Structure and Wing Venation.
In the last section I introduced insect wings and will now move on to look at wing structure and venation. This post will confine itself to the essentials, with a more detailed look at variations in wing structure when I cover the insect orders in the chapter on diversity.
The wings connect to the thorax at three points, with various forms of axillaethe term given to the point at which the thoracic muscles attach to the wing of an insect., which are stiff plates (sclerites) of cuticle that are activated by muscle movements in the thorax. Wings consist of two layers of cuticular membrane which sandwich a framework of veins through which hemolymph flows. The veins are also sclerotizedhardening of the cuticle and provide a strengthening structure to the wing. Other features of the wings include fold lines and lines of flexion. In some orders, the fore and hind wings move together as one when in flight, facilitated by various linking mechanisms.
Wing venation and the lines of folding and flexion all contribute to patterns that can assist in identification. The lines of venation have been ‘mapped’ with a common terminology called the Comstock-Needham system, which recognises the homologysimilarities in structure due to common descent of wing veins across the insect orders. The Comstock–Needham system was developed by John Comstock and George Needham in 1898, and today it is variations of that system that are mostly used by entomologists. The Evolution of Insects goes with the Wootton variation (1979) which I follow below, while others may favour the Kukalova´-Peck variation. Continue reading