Plastron respiration in the marine fly Canace
Hinton, H.E. (1967) Plastron respiration in the marine fly Canace. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 47 (1). pp. 319-327.
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The larva of the fly Canace nasica Haliday feeds on Enteromorpha in the intertidal zone. Its pupae, like those of a number of other intertidal flies, have plastron-bearing spiracular gills. The gills are unlike those of any other known Diptera in that they are modified spiracles: those of other flies are modifications of the body wall adjoining the spiracle, or of both the body wall and the spiracle. Although the spiracular gills are pupal structures, they are the respiratory organs of the adult before it emerges from the puparium. The plastron resists wetting at an excess pressure of I atm for 9 h, and more than half of those tested resisted 2 atm for 3 h. The plastron thus has a wide safety margin even when the fly breeds in the lower part of the intertidal zone. The polyphyletic origin of plastron respiration is discussed. It is shown that plastron respiration has arisen at least four times independently in marine insects. Of these, the Tipulidae are especially interesting because at least two different groups have invaded the sea and on each occasion have evolved plastron-bearing spiracular gills.
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