|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 mandibular protuberances were quite evident.|
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.
What appears to be hairs are actually sensorial organs known as “setae”, which provide the organism with information about its environment including changes in temperature, wind direction, and chemical queues, i.e., pheromones.