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ID#:8810
Description:Under a high magnification of 6601x, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed the presence of numbers of mites from the specie Nanorchestes sp., Family Nanorchestidae, which was highly festooned with an adornment of chitinous exoskeletal outcroppings. Under this high magnification, these exoskeletal complexities were better appreciated in their diaphanous majesty. Members of this specie are free-living, fungivorous soil and leaf-litter/moss mites that were simply an incidental finding on the skin of this lizard. It is not a lizard associate per se, and certainly not parasitic.
To the unaided eye, these arthropods would go unnoticed, but under magnified scrutiny, the details of their incredibly beautiful, ultrastructural morphology were revealed. Though the structures in the field of view appear to be plant-like, these complex shapes actually represent exoskeletal appendages, which are composed of “chitin”, a polysaccharide, i.e., complex carbohydrate molecule, composed of monosaccharides joined together by glycosidic bonding. In the case of very small organisms such as the insect depicted here, chitin is an appropriate exoskeletal material, however, due to the force of gravity, the larger the organism, the more impractial it would be to implement a chitinous exosheleton, which at larger sizes, would be unable to support a very great weight.
High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (5.48 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ William L. Nicholson, Ph.D.; Cal Welbourn, Ph.D., Gary R. Mullen
Creation Date:2006
Photo Credit:Janice Haney Carr
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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.

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