Absence of microorganisms in crustacean digestive tracts

Science. 1978 Jun 9;200(4346):1157-9. doi: 10.1126/science.200.4346.1157.


Two marine and one terrestrial wood-boring isopod species and one wood-inhabiting amphipod species maintain a digestive tract free of microorganisms. Digestive tracts examined in toto with the scanning electron microscope were devoid of microorganisms. In contrast, the outer exoskeleton surfaces of these crustaceans support a dense bacterialflora. Observations of the hindgut of termites revealed a diverse gut microflora as expected.