Under a moderate magnification of 361X, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the morphologic details found on the exoskeletal surface of an unidentified hornet discovered in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia. In this particular view, we see a close-up of the numerous sensorial 'hairs', or 'setae', which adorn almost the entire exterior, providing the hornet with data indicative of changes encountered in its environment such as chemical, thermal, and tactile queues. These setae are composed of chitin, unlike mammalian hair, which is composed of the molecule keratin.
CDC/ Janice Haney Carr
December 2, 2012
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