Thursday, August 9, 2007


Five-Horned Eggshell

This image is a scanning electron micrograph of the anterior portion of a Drosophila virilis eggshell. At this high resolution, its microscopic features can be seen in striking detail. The most obvious structures are the four respiratory appendages (green) that help the fly developing inside the eggshell to breathe. The fifth, shorter “horn” is the micropyle, which is a small tube used for sperm entry. Also of interest, the complex web-like pattern of white proteinaceous material indicates the outline of the individual cells that secreted the eggshell.

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