Egg structure and outline of embryonic development of the basal mantodean, Metallyticus splendidus Westwood, 1835 (Insecta, Mantodea, Metallyticidae)

Arthropod Struct Dev. 2018 Jan;47(1):64-73. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2017.11.001. Epub 2017 Nov 26.


The egg structure and outline of the embryonic development of Metallyticus splendidus of one of the basal Mantodea representatives, Metallyticidae, were described in the present study. The results obtained were compared with those from the previous studies, to reconstruct and discuss the groundplan of Mantodea and Dictyoptera. In M. splendidus, the egg is spheroidal, it has a convex ventral side at the center in which numerous micropyles are grouped, and it possesses a conspicuous hatching line in its anterior half. These are the groundplan features of mantodean eggs and the "grouped micropyles in the ventral side of the egg" are regarded as an apomorphic groundplan feature of Dictyoptera. A small circular embryo is formed by a simple concentration of blastoderm cells, which then undergoes embryogenesis of the typical short germ band type. Blastokinesis is of the "non-reversion type" and the embryo keeps its original superficial position and original orientation throughout embryonic development. During the middle stages of development, the embryo undergoes rotation around the egg's anteroposterior axis. These features are a part of the groundplan of Mantodea. It is uncertain whether sharing of the "non-reversion type" of blastokinesis by Mantodea and blaberoidean Blattodea can be regarded as homology or homoplasy.

Keywords: Basal Mantodea; Blastokinesis; Dictyoptera; Egg structure; Embryonic development; Groundplan.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Mantodea / embryology*
  • Mantodea / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Ovum / ultrastructure