The anatomy and ultrastructure of the suctorial organ of Solifugae (Arachnida)

Arthropod Struct Dev. 2008 Jan;37(1):3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2007.04.001. Epub 2007 May 5.


Solifugae possess an evertable, adhesive pedipalpal organ (suctorial organ) at the tip of the distal tarsus of each pedipalp that is unique among arachnids. When inverted inside the pedipalp, the suctorial organ is covered with two cuticular lips, a dorsal upper lip and a ventral lower lip, but it can be protruded rapidly in order to facilitate grasping prey or climbing on bushes or even climbing on smooth surfaces due to its remarkable adhesive properties. In this study, the suctorial organs of different species from old world families Galeodidae and Karschiidae and new world families Ammotrechidae and Eremobatidae were investigated by means of light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. In all representatives, the suctorial organ is formed by an evertable, cuticular pad with a complex internal stabilizing structure. The procuticle of this pad consists of a lattice-like basal plate and numerous stalked structures connected to this basal plate. The shafts of the stalked structures are regularly organized and ramify apically. The surface of the suctorial organ is constituted of a very thin epicuticle overlaying the ramifying apices forming ridges and furrows on the ventral side of the suctorial organ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnida / anatomy & histology*
  • Arachnida / ultrastructure*
  • Extremities / anatomy & histology*
  • Sense Organs / anatomy & histology*
  • Sense Organs / ultrastructure*