|Description:||Under a low magnification of 55X, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicted some of the exoskeletal morphologic characteristics displayed on the head region of an unidentified beetle found deceased in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia. In this particular view, the first two segments of one of this insect’s two antennae were visible, for the remaining antennal segments had been broken off.|
Created at the fracture point, was a cup-like cavitation, into which would have fit this organ's most proximal flagellar segment.
The antenna is composed of three main regions: scape, pedicle, and flagellum. The scape, which is not visible in this view, attaches the sensory organ to the head region, and the pedicle joins the distal, jointed, multisegmented flagellum to the scape.
As a member of the Class Insecta, and Phylum Arthropoda, this beetle was supported by its jointed exoskeleton, from which its Phylum, Arthro = jointed, and poda = legs, devired its name.
As arthropods, beetles possess an exoskeleton composed of chitin, which is a molecule made up of bound units of acetylglucosamine, joined in such a way as to allow for increased points at which hydrogen bonding can occur. In this way chitin provides increased strength, and durability as an exoskeletal foundation.
The bilaterally situated antennae are not the only structures in the insect's repertoire of sensorial apparatuses that provide it with information of changes in its environment. In fact, what appear to be the hairs on its antenna are also used as integral sensorial instruments, and are known as "setae”, evident in this SEM.