Integumental organs of unknown function on chelipeds of deep-sea crabs, genus Hypsophrys.


:Homolid crabs (Hypsophrys) from water deeper than 700 m in the Straits of Florida and Arabian Sea have smooth darkened oval spots contrasting with the surrounding roughened integument on inner and outer surfaces of each pincer at the base of the fixed finger. Cuticle is thinner over these spots than over surrounaing tissues. Beneath each spot is an organ composed of two markedly contrasting layers of tissue: (1) an outer, densely staining layer of tightly packed tubules, relatively straight and perpendicular to the overlying surface proximally but progressively convoluted and narrowed distally, finally ending blindly in association with the overlying thinned cuticle; (2) an inner layer of relatively large, eosinophilic, irregular cells with dark nuclei also trending at a right angle to the integument and bulging into the hemal sinus of the hand but separated from it by an epidermal lining. Droplets secreted from the inner layer apparently move into and along the tubules. Similar organs are known in no other crabs. The function is unknown but the structure suggests that they may be photophores.


J Morphol


Journal of morphology


Williams AB




Has Abstract


1976-12-01 00:00:00












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