Document Detail

Convergent evolution in the antennae of a cerambycid beetle, Onychocerus albitarsis, and the sting of a scorpion.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18004534     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Venom-injecting structures have arisen independently in unrelated arthropods including scorpions, spiders, centipedes, larval owlflies and antlions, and Hymenoptera (wasps, ants, and bees). Most arthropods use venom primarily as an offensive weapon to subdue prey, and only secondarily in defense against enemies. Venom is injected by biting with fangs or stinging with a specialized hypodermic structure used exclusively for the delivery of venom (usually modified terminal abdominal segments). A true sting apparatus, previously known only in scorpions and aculeate wasps, is now known in a third group. We here report the first known case of a cerambycid beetle using its antennae to inject a secretion that causes cutaneous and subcutaneous inflammation in humans. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the terminal antennal segment of Onychocerus albitarsis (Pascoe) has two pores opening into channels leading to the tip through which the secretion is delivered. This is a novel case of convergent evolution: The delivery system is almost identical to that found in the stinger of a deadly buthid scorpion.
Amy Berkov; Nelson Rodríguez; Pedro Centeno
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2007-11-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Die Naturwissenschaften     Volume:  95     ISSN:  0028-1042     ISO Abbreviation:  Naturwissenschaften     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-15     Completed Date:  2008-06-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400767     Medline TA:  Naturwissenschaften     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  257-61     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, The City College of New York, The City University of New York, Convent Avenue at 138 Street, New York, NY 10031, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Arthropod Venoms*
Arthropods / physiology*
Beetles / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Insect Bites and Stings*
Scorpions / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Arthropod Venoms

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