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Volume 2011, Article ID 563852, 8 pages
Research Article

Ovipositor Internal Microsculpture in the Relic Silverfish Tricholepidion gertschi (Insecta: Zygentoma)

Department of Zoology, Biological Faculty, Kyiv National University, Vul. Volodymirs'ka 64, 01033 Kyiv, Ukraine

Received 19 January 2011; Accepted 29 March 2011

Academic Editor: John Heraty

Copyright © 2011 Natalia A. Matushkina. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The microsculpture on the inside surface of the ovipositor of the relic silverfish Tricholepidion gertschi (Wygodzinsky, 1961) (Insecta: Zygentoma) was studied with scanning electronic microscopy for the first time. Both the first and second valvulae of T. gertschi bear rather diverse sculptural elements: (1) microtrichia of various shapes and directed distally, (2) longitudinal ridges, (3) smooth regions, and (4) scattered dome-shaped sensilla. As in several other insects, the distally directed microtrichia most likely facilitate unidirectional movement of the egg during egg laying. Involvement of the ovipositor internal microsculpture also in the uptake of male genital products is tentatively suggested. From a phylogenetic point of view, the presence of internal microsculpture appears an ancestral peculiarity of the insect ovipositor.