At an even lower magnification of 407x, of the same region as depicted in PHIL# 8938, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed the highly textured exoskeletal surface of an unidentified green bug, found deceased on the grounds in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia, attached to a deceased, unidentified caterpillar. The exoskeleton on insects is commonly adorned by a myriad of protuberances, some of which are to allow its owner to attract a mate, others to detect changes in its environment, and still others to act as protective mechanisms by which the organism can thwart a foe, or avoid being eaten by a predator. At this low magnification, the insects sensorial "hairs", or "setae" are visible, which allow the organism to detect changes in environmental temperature, tactile stimuli, and chemical queues.
CDC/ Janice Carr
November 4, 2012
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