Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

January 2000


Published in Journal of Insect Physiology 46:1 (January 2000), pp. 13–19; doi 10.1016/S0022-1910(99)00096-7 Copyright © 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. Used by permission.


Specimens of Phrynus marginemaculatus can remain responsive when submerged in water for more than 24 hours. Behavioral data indicate that P. marginemaculatus utilizes dissolved oxygen from the surrounding water. Scanning electron miscroscopy and light microscope sections show cuticular modifications for plastron respiration. All previous examples of plastron respiration have involved animals with tracheal systems, but amblypygids respire through the use of two pairs of book lungs. This study provides the first example of plastron respiration not only in the order Amblypygi, but also, in any non-tracheate arthropod.