General Properties Of Cuticles

The cuticular layer varies in thickness from a few micrometers to a few millimeters, depending upon the insect species, developmental stage, and body region, but cuticles typically are between 100 and 300 |lm thick. Cuticles are highly diverse in their mechanical properties. They can be divided into two groups: stiff and hard cuticles, and soft and pliant cuticles. Intermediate degrees of stiffness also exist, and some types of cuticle have special properties, such as rubberlike elasticity or extreme extensibility. Cuticles differ in color and in surface sculpturing, but electron microscopy shows that all types of cuticle are built according to a common plan. The details in structure and properties of the various cuticular regions are such that for each species they are optimal for the functioning of the living insect in its natural surroundings.

0 0

Post a comment