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Title: Ontogenetic study of the venom gland formicine ants, with special reference to the pulvinate convoluted gland (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
Authors: Schoeters, Eric ×
Billen, Johan #
Issue Date: Dec-1998
Publisher: Springer verlag
Series Title: Zoomorphology vol:118 issue:4 pages:245-253
Abstract: The primordia of the sclerites associated with the Venom gland appear in third-stage larvae. The study aims to link the structure and function of this specialised venom structure in Formicinae, together with glandular ontogeny, and puts emphasis on the relevance of the distinguished glandular subunits contributing to the final secretion. The most conspicuous changes in glandular development occur in the pharate pupa. At this stage, all subunits of the venom gland (the tubule, the convoluted gland and reservoir) are Visibly present. Formation of the glandular cuticle starts around day 4 of the pupal stage. Luminal cells in the convoluted gland are provided with abundant free ribosomes and apical microvilli that remain during adult life. Stacks of granular endoplasmic reticulum are also frequently found in these cells. The convoluted gland contains relatively few scattered secretory cells, belonging to type 3 according to Noirot and Quennedey (1974), which contain electron-dense material in their extracellular spaces during adult life. These cells strongly contrast with the apparently general nonglandular nature of the convoluted gland tubule. Histochemical investigation of the secretory cells in the pulvinate convoluted gland reveals that these cells contain Lipoid material, most likely to correspond with lipoids demonstrated in earlier chemical analyses. This lipoidal material in minor quantities strongly contrasts with the bulk of acid constituting the secretion. The substances produced in the convoluted gland could act as insulators, thus protecting the insect against its corrosive venom.
URI: 
ISSN: 0720-213X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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