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Description:This scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image, magnified 1559x, revealed some interesting morphologic shapes manifested by the microscopic debris that was attached to the exoskeletal surface of an unidentified insect. These particulates were predominantly made up of vegetative matter such as pollen granules, fungal gametes, and disintegrated plant tissues. Also note the few sensorial “hairs” in the field of view.
These sensorial hair-like appendages are sensory structures capable of sensing changes in environmental chemistry analogous to taste or smell, sonic, or changes in sound patterns, thermal changes, and tactile variations. They are not really hairs, but extensions of the exoskeletal exterior, and are made up of the same material, known as chitin. The wings, antennae, legs, and all the exoskeletal adnexa are made up of this material, which is a very hard, linear homopolymer, and as a result, is very protective, supportive, and durable.

Note the strange, beautiful shapes exhibited by the unidentified debris particulates, which go unseen by the unaided eye.

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (5.48 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Janice Haney Carr
Creation Date:2005
Photo Credit:Janice Haney Carr
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.