Fine structure of the cuticle of the desert scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis

Tissue Cell. 1979;11(2):249-62. doi: 10.1016/0040-8166(79)90040-5.


The structure of the sclerite and intersegmental cuticle of the opithosoma of the desert scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis, has been examined by transmission electron microscopy. The sclerite cuticle contains a four-layered epicuticle, a hyaline exocuticle, an inner exocuticle and an endocuticle. The outer part of the hyaline exocuticle and the whole of the inner exocuticle are constructed of helicoidally arranged planes of microfibrils. Within the endocuticle, the overall architecture is not helicoidal as previously assumed, but consists of bundles of microfibrils oriented horizontally and vertically. Microbibrils of the inner exocuticle and the endocutile are seen as simple unstained rods, but those of the hyaline exocuticle are electron dense rods with an unstained central core. The intersegmental cuticle contains a four-layered epicuticle and a procuticle. In detail, its fine structure differs in most respects from that of the sclerite cuticle. Electron microscopy reveals that hyaline exocuticle, previously assumed to be continuous from sclerite to intersegmental membrane, is absent in the latter.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Organoids / ultrastructure
  • Scorpions / ultrastructure*
  • Skin / ultrastructure*