Subcuticle

A narrow, histochemically distinct layer, called subcuticle, is situated between the procuticle and the epidermal cells. It stains positively for muco- and glycoproteins. It has been suggested that it serves to bind cuticle and epidermis together and that this layer is the deposition zone, where new cuticular material is assembled and added to the already existing cuticle.

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Further Reading

Andersen, S. O. (1985). Sclerotization and tanning of the cuticle. In "Comprehensive Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology" (G. A. Kerkut, and L. I. Gilbert, eds.), Vol. 3, Chap. 2. Pergamon Press, Oxford, U.K.

Blomquist, G. J., and Dillwith, J. W. (1985). Cuticular lipids. In "Comprehensive Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology" (G. A. Kerkut, and L. I. Gilbert, eds.), Vol. 3, Chap. 4. Pergamon Press, Oxford, U.K.

Hepburn, H. R. (ed.). (1976). "The Insect Integument." Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Hepburn, H. R. (1985). Structure of the integument. In "Comprehensive Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology" (G. A. Kerkut, and L. I. Gilbert, eds.), Vol. 3, Chap. 1. Pergamon Press, Oxford, U.K. Kramer, K. J., Dziadik-Turner, C., and Koga, D. (1985). Chitin metabolism in insects. In "Comprehensive Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology" (G. A. Kerkut, and L. I. Gilbert, eds.), Vol. 3, Chap. 3. Pergamon Press, Oxford, U.K. Neville, A. C. (1975). "Biology of the Arthropod Cuticle." Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Wigglesworth, V. B. (1972). "The Principles of Insect Physiology." 7th ed. Chapman & Hall, London.

(Opiliones)

Gonzalo Giribet

Harvard University

The Opiliones, commonly known as daddy-long-legs, harvestmen, shepherd spiders, or harvest spiders (among many other names), are a very interesting group of arachnids that are well known by farmerss. Opiliones constitute the third most speciose arachnid order (after Acari and Araneae), comprising approximately 1500 genera and 5000 species in 45 families. They are the only nonmite or tick arachnids that ingest vegetable matter, but generally they prey on insects, other arachnids, snails, and worms and have the ability to ingest particulate food; this is unlike most arachnids, which ingest only liquefied substances.

Opiliones are divided into four suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, and Laniatores.

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