Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (4): 579-586, 2012 | 10.14411/eje.2012.072

Variations in the ultrastructure of the flight muscles of the polymorphic cricket, Gryllus firmus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

Cheng-Ji JIANG*, Bao-Chang ZHANG*, Wen-Feng CHEN, Qing-Wen ZHANG, Zhang-Wu ZHAO**, Chun-Ju AN, Jie-Ping LI
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R. China; e-mail: zhaozw@cau.edu.cn

Although there is a considerable amount of information on the ecology, genetics and physiology of life-history traits there is little information on the morphological variations associated with flight ability within species. In this paper, the morphology and ultrastructure of certain organelles in the flight muscles of Gryllus firmus are recorded using transmission electron microscopy. The ultrastructure of the flight muscles of 7-day-old female adults reveals that the ratio of thick to thin filaments is 1 : 3. Each thick filament is surrounded by 6 thin filaments in a hexagonal arrangement. The length of the sarcomere of each myofibril is significantly shorter and diameter of the myofibrils significantly smaller in long-winged than in short-winged morphs. However, the thick filaments in the long-winged morph are denser than those in the short-winged morph. Furthermore, in the long winged morph there are a greater number of mitochondria than in the short-winged morph. These differences correspond with the fact that long-winged crickets are stronger fliers than short-winged crickets.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Gryllidae, Gryllus firmus, flight muscle, ultrastructure, juvenile hormone, Transmission Electron Microscope

Received: May 30, 2011; Accepted: May 21, 2012; Published: October 5, 2012; Published: October 5, 2012


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