Centipede histology

dragontears

Arachnoknight
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After about 1 year 8 months in my care, my female S. alternans died. Rather than throw her away, I brought her in to work where she was fixed in formalin and cut in for histopathology. We took 17 cross sections leaving only small bits that we couldn't fit into the cassettes. The sections were processed, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 4 microns after which they were stained with standard H & E staining. I have no idea what most of the structures are when I looked at them, but that still doesn't take away the coolness factor (yes, I'm a dork). If anyone has any technical terms they can offer please do, or you can blatantly tell me that I have mis-identified something. I'm NOT an expert.

I have only had time to take pictures from 2 of the four slides, but here are some highlights so far:

My absolute favorite picture, a cross section of the entire spiracle:


Air comes in through the spiracle "gates" when the gates are open:


then the air is filtered by hair-like filters farther in:


A couple other spiracle pictures from the other side:




Now onto the antenna...
Sagital section from distal end of antenna (sorry about the debris on the slide mucking up the view a bit):


Ever wonder what gives the velvety look on the 'rough' antenna segments:


These thorn-like sensory appendages are not on the proximal end of the antenna:


another focal point of the same picture to show how the thorns are connected into the sensory system:


Ventral nerve cord:


exoskeleton of leg:


exoskeleton dorsolateral side:


and now is where I start blowing smoke from my a$$

something that generates the waxy cuticle????


gut??


higher magnification...looks to be plant material??



Please, Please, Please correct me or offer the technical term of anything I've screwed up. I just make slides, I don't get paid to evaluate them, but I thought I could have some fun seeing what the inside of a centipede looks like. :D

I'll share more pictures as I take them.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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RAD! That took allot of work but, nerd fun man! Thanks for those pics, very interesting!
 

sick4x4

Arachnoprince
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yeah that was insane to be able to have access to equipment like that!!!! wow:clap: "nerd fun" now that's funny.......
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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i've read about and seen my centipedes eat plant material, so maybe that is a plant cell in there after all


also, are you saying it looks to be plant material cuz it seems to have a cell wall? (5th grade science, woot!)
 

dragontears

Arachnoknight
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yes, it does appears to have a cell wall. Another clue was that there were a couple other structures in there that had the classic spiral structure of trachieds (I couldn't get a good picture since there were so many focal points due to the spiral). The structure I took a picture of is similar to this photo of collenchyma:
http://images.google.com/imgres?img...images?q=collenchyma&svnum=10&um=1&hl=en&sa=N

so if centipedes eat plant material, can they digest it and get nutrients from it?
 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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Amazing. Those photos would look great framed and matted. Thank you for sharing.
 

Steven

pede-a-holic
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WOW !!! :worship: :worship:

great job, i need to take some more time to read and observe this :)




many thanx for sharing !
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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so if centipedes eat plant material, can they digest it and get nutrients from it?
well, if i remember my Lewis correctly it might be that they are extracting water. at a rough, very late in the night/early in the morning guess i would think that it might be along the lines of a human eating corn... some parts are digestible and some aren't.

i wonder if they can metabolize sugar. i can't remember if animals make sugar or just plants. dunno.

pretty sure that cents can't digest cellulose, as only bacteria can, iirc.

so... over all i am going to give you a pretty conclusive... "dunno"




i agree with GQ.... those would make awesome "art" :) or maybe it should be called smART instead... heh. i better go to bed before i hurt someone with a bad puntype thing
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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I can't believe I missed this thread when it first came up . . . awesome pictures! :clap: I'm really jealous that my lab only has dissecting scopes with a maximum power of around 80-90x.

Any other pictures you can share? *hopeful*
 

dragontears

Arachnoknight
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I have a picture of her eggs, but I haven't uploaded them to my site yet. I'm waiting for a friend to take a picture of the entire cross section (the scope I was using won't take a picture that wide).
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
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Those are awesome man, where do you work? I'm no expert either, but I think you might be right about the thing taht generates the cuticle.. it does look very similar to a lot of glands I've seen. Then again, I guess it could be another type of gland or something..

@IHeartMantids: Yeah, but dissecting scopes are the most fun things to muck around with EVER :D.

Edit: I thought centipedes couldn't close their spiracles?
 

dragontears

Arachnoknight
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I do histology in a diagnostic lab. My job is to make and stain slides. I just added my centipede to the pile and sectioned her on my free time.

It's possible that centipedes can't close their spiracles. I didn't know that. I would still assume that the 'gates' can filter some of the bigger debris out so the spiracles don't get clogged. Does that sound logical?
 

dragontears

Arachnoknight
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I have a few more pics. I'm still working on getting a full cross section, but having trouble finding a scope that has a low enough magnification.

Here's some leg bits:
tip:


logitudinal:


cross section:


another of the gut...more posterior than the previous one:


eggs:


most of a cross section of the body...gut in the middle, eggs on top, ventral nerve cord on bottom:
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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Edit: I thought centipedes couldn't close their spiracles?
It's possible that centipedes can't close their spiracles. I didn't know that. I would still assume that the 'gates' can filter some of the bigger debris out so the spiracles don't get clogged. Does that sound logical?

i am pretty sure scolopendromorpha centipedes can not seal their spiracles to water loss... but some kind of filtering functionality seems logical... otherwise, as DT said, they would get clogged or something


i am moving in a week or so.... i should be able to find my _Biology of Centipedes_ then and maybe be able to quote a little bit from it
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
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i am pretty sure scolopendromorpha centipedes can not seal their spiracles to water loss... but some kind of filtering functionality seems logical... otherwise, as DT said, they would get clogged or something


i am moving in a week or so.... i should be able to find my _Biology of Centipedes_ then and maybe be able to quote a little bit from it
Yeah I guess there would at least have to be some sort of mechanical filter to stop clogs.. I'm almost positive they can't seal them to prevent water loss, which is why they're rarely found in arid climates compared to insects.

Might be time to check the ol' invert zoology text.
 

bistrobob85

Arachnoprince
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OMG, that's totally CRAZY, how could i have gone over this thread?!?! Congratulations, this is great material!!!!

phil.
 
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