Under a low magnification of 42X this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed the morphologic details of a female velvet wasp's, Dasymutilla sp., distal abdomen were revealed from which her stinger will emerge when she's threatened. See PHIL 9894, which depicts a female velvet ant's stinger fully exposed after having been coxed from the abdomen prior to processing. Note the presence of sensorial 'hairs' upon the surface of the exoskeleton, which are really not hairs as in the mammalian sense, i.e., composed of keratin, but chitinous extensions composed of the same protein as that of the exoskeleton itself.
CDC/ Michael and Paula Smith
December 1, 2012
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