Macromite’s 3rd Electron Raster Challenge

Now that I’m back in the groove, more or less, I suppose I should offer up a new Electron Raster Challenge. This is an easy one, these things are everywhere, so for full credit, how about naming three of the structures visible too. In case anyone needs a hint or two, well, they are unusual  among their close relatives for two reasons that I can think of:  (1) they have a physiological ability that allows them to live in Spanish Moss and (2) they use their morphology to confound ants. Extra credit for explaining these two feats.

4 Responses to “Macromite’s 3rd Electron Raster Challenge”

  1. Ted C. MacRae Says:

    This challenge has defeated all of my Google strategizing, but it’s an amazing image and I can’t wait to find out what those numerous “leafy” structures are.

  2. Christopher Taylor Says:

    It’s not a polyxenid of some kind, is it? I have to admit that I don’t have any really good reason for thinking so, just that the arrangement of some of the setae into whorls is somewhat reminiscent of a polyxenid. And I expect that they would have dissociated ocelli like that as well.

  3. Christopher Taylor Says:

    A bit more digging around, and I’m certain that it’s a polyxenid. The three trichobothria behind the eyes seem to be distinctive. As for the other things referred to: the ant connection is that the barbed setae covering the animal can be shed to deter predatory ants. I’m not sure about the Spanish moss connection (Tillandsia or Usnea?) but parthenogenesis in polyxenids may help them inhabit more extreme environments than other millipedes.

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