Morphology of female external genitalia in Phenes raptor (Odonata: Petaluridae)


The exoskeleton of the female genitalic region in Phenes raptor is described based on light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. It is shown that in this species the pattern of sclerites, articulations, processes, and apodemes is overall the same as in other ovipositor-bearing Odonata, i.e. Zygoptera, the anisozygopteran Epiophlebia, and the anisopteran Aeshnidae. However, many morphological details differ among all these taxa. Fifty-four characters were scored for P. raptor in order to be included in a previously compiled dataset for phylogenetic analysis of ovipositor-bearing Odonata. These characters include only few specific similarities between P. raptor and either Aeshnidae or Epiophlebia. Instead, P. raptor shows a number of features that are unique among ovipositor-bearing Odonata. Absence of serration on the ovipositor in P. raptor and reduction of the interlocking mechanism connecting the two first valves medially is probably correlated with the endosubstratic egg-laying of the female. The ovipositor bears numerous sensilla of different shape, which probably detect suitable places for oviposition.

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