Publications

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the effects of temperature, activity and convection on the plastron po2 of the aquatic bug aphelocheirus aestivalis (hemiptera; aphelocheiridae).the aquatic bug aphelocheirus aestivalis (fabricius 1794) utilises a plastron, a thin bubble layer on the surface of its body to extract o2 from the water. millions of tiny hairs keep the bubble from collapsing, enabling the bug to remain submerged indefinitely. the development of fibre optic o2-probes has allowed measurements of o2 pressure (po2) surrounding the plastron, and within the plastron although only for short periods. here we developed methods to continuously measure plastron po2, and ...201728688893
respiratory function of the plastron in the aquatic bug aphelocheirus aestivalis (hemiptera, aphelocheiridae).the river bug aphelocheirus aestivalis is a 40 mg aquatic insect that, as an adult, relies totally on an incompressible physical gill to exchange respiratory gases with the water. the gill (called a 'plastron') consists of a stationary layer of air held in place on the body surface by millions of tiny hairs that support a permanent air-water interface, so that the insect never has to renew the gas at the water's surface. the volume of air in the plastron is extremely small (0.14 mm(3)), under sl ...201526206357
oxygen-limited thermal tolerance is seen in a plastron-breathing insect and can be induced in a bimodal gas exchanger.thermal tolerance has been hypothesized to result from a mismatch between oxygen supply and demand. however, the generality of this hypothesis has been challenged by studies on various animal groups, including air-breathing adult insects. recently, comparisons across taxa have suggested that differences in gas exchange mechanisms could reconcile the discrepancies found in previous studies. here, we test this suggestion by comparing the behaviour of related insect taxa with different gas exchange ...201525964420
physical gills prevent drowning of many wetland insects, spiders and plants.insects, spiders and plants risk drowning in their wetland habitats. the slow diffusion of o(2) can cause asphyxiation when underwater, as o(2) supply cannot meet respiratory demands. some animals and plants have found a common solution to the major challenge: how to breathe underwater with respiratory systems evolved for use in air? hydrophobic surfaces on their bodies possess gas films that act as a 'physical gill' to collect o(2) when underwater and thus sustain respiration. in aquatic insect ...201222323192
the first decapeptide adipokinetic hormone (akh) in heteroptera: a novel akh from a south african saucer bug, laccocoris spurcus (naucoridae, laccocorinae).a novel peptide of the adipokinetic hormone (akh)/red pigment-concentrating hormone (rpch) family has been elucidated by mass spectrometry from the corpora cardiaca of an african saucer bug species, laccocoris spurcus. it is the first decapeptide member found in the species-rich taxon heteroptera, has the primary sequence pglu-val-asn-phe-ser-pro-ser-trp-gly-gly amide and is denoted as lacsp-akh. the first eight amino acids are identical to the octapeptide anaim-akh of the european saucer bug, i ...201120969908
ventilatory structures in cryphocricos barozzii signoret (heteroptera, naucoroidea).plastron and spiracular features strongly resemble those of aphelocheirus aestivalis (fab.), described by messner et al. (1981). plastronal foliose hairs, somewhat irregular shaped are regularly distributed in the plastron. very numerous tiny openigs on sternites an tergites connect platronal air with a subcuticular air film limited internally apparently by a membrane. aplicated, radial, structure at the proximal end of the tracheae, almost occluding the extremely fine spiracular openings, appea ...200010959110
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