Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 267 (1454), 1809-13

The Ootheca of Mastotermes Darwiniensis Froggatt (Isoptera: Mastotermitidae): Homology With Cockroach Oothecae

Affiliations

The Ootheca of Mastotermes Darwiniensis Froggatt (Isoptera: Mastotermitidae): Homology With Cockroach Oothecae

C A Nalepa et al. Proc Biol Sci.

Abstract

The basal termite Mastotermes darwiniensis produces an egg mass, the nature of which is controversial. The debate centres on whether it is homologous with the oothecae of mantids and cockroaches and, if so, whether its simple structure is plesiomorphic or apomorphic within the Dictyoptera. To help resolve these issues we observed primary reproductives of M. darwiniensis during oviposition and examined the morphology of the reproductive product. Oviposition is cockroach-like in that the egg mass is assembled within the vestibulum and the eggs are issued externally in pairs. The reproductive product is an ootheca of the blattarian type. A distinct, tanned outer covering is stretched over the two parallel rows of eggs. No keel is present and no calcium oxalate crystals were apparent in the outer covering. We cannot rule out the possibility that the simple structure of the ootheca is plesiomorphic within Dictyoptera. However, based on (i) apomorphies shared by Mastotermes and Blattaria, and (ii) the life habits of Isoptera, a secondary reduction is the more plausible explanation.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 7 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. J Microsc. 1969;89(2):263-81 - PubMed
    1. J Insect Physiol. 1974 May;20(5):821-44 - PubMed
    1. Proc Biol Sci. 1995 Mar 22;259(1356):293-9 - PubMed
    1. Parassitologia. 1997 Mar;39(1):71-5 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback