The ovipositor of the relic dragonfly Epiophlebia superstes: a morphological re-examination (Odonata: Epiophlebiidae)


The morphology of the endophytic ovipositor in Epiophlebia superstes was studied with light and electron microscopy with special emphasis made on the musculature and microsculpture of the exoskeleton. Structural characters are described and illustrated. The musculature of the ovipositor has many similarities with zygopterans. The ovipositor and 10th adominal segment bear groups of setae and campaniform sensilla, which probably contact the plant surface during egg laying. A group of campaniform sensilla on the base of the stylus may be responsible for the zigzag sequence of egg disposition in E. superstes. The phylogenetic significance of the microstructure of the ovipositor in E. superstes can be evaluated only after a systematic examination of representatives of other ovipositor-bearing Odonata.

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