At a low magnification of 95X, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the morphologic exoskeletal features located on the ventral thoracic surface of an adult 'figeater' beetle, Cotinis mutabilis. Sometimes referred to as a 'junebug, this insect is a member of the taxonomic family, Scarabaeidae, or dung beetles. In this particular image, you'll note the proximal jointed ends of this beetle's maxillary "galeae", which emanate from maxilla just medial to the insect's "palpi".It's due to the jointed nature of its leg configuration that this organism is classified in the phylum, Arthropoda, i.e., 'Arthro' = jointed, and 'poda' = legs. This beetle was found in the Decatur, Georgia suburbs.
December 4, 2012
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