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< Leonid I. Frantsevich >

Ancient Egyptian artists knew that the sacred scarab did not open elytra in flight.

Leonid Frantsevich, Stanislav Gorb, Vladimir Radchenko, Dmytro Gladun. 2015. Lehr’s fields of campaniform sensilla in beetles (Coleoptera): functional morphology. III. Impact of disfunction of the elytra. Arthropod Structure & Development 44, 113-120.


Some flying beetles are limited in the amount of possible movements of their elytra, in the length or in the width of the elytra, if compared with the vast majority of beetles. Several beetles spread wings through lateral incisions on the elytra and turn the elytron during opening about 10-12° (Cetoniinae, Scarabaeus, Gymnopleurus) or elevate the elytra without partition (Sisyphus, Tragocerus).

Broad opening of the elytra in lamellicornian beetles. 3D filming of a beetle, tethered by the ventrite, under a slant mirror. Still frames from video records. Artificial landmarks (arrows) are glued to the elytra. (A) Lucanus cervus, (B) Allomyrina dichotoma.

Restricted opening of the elytra in scarabaeid beetles. 2D filming of a beetle, tethered by the pronotum. Still frames. (A) Scarabaeus sacer, the moment of spreading, view from above; (B) Protaetia lugubris, stationary flight, view from behind; (C) Valgus hemipterus, before the start, view from above, (D) stationary flight, in profile and (E) from above.

The number of campaniform sensilla in their elytral sensory field is diminished in comparison with beetles of closely related taxa lacking that incision.

The root (A) and the Lehr’s fields of CFS (B-D) in Cetoniini. Sensory fields are situated on medial faces of a root. (A) Oxythyrea funesta, (B) Dicronorrhina micans, (C) D. derbyana, (D) Protaetia aeruginosa. The elytra in natural size are pasted into each photograph. (A, B) SEM, (C, D) TLM. The arrows indicate the folds between the lateral apophysis and the intermediate sector. Abbreviation: e2 – elytral process of 2Ax. Scale bars: (A-C) 100 µm, (D) 50 µm.

Allometric relationship between the area of the elytron Ae (in mm2, logarithmic scale) and the number N of CFS in Lehr’s field in the series of Cetoniini (series C) in comparison with series of Dynastinae (D), Trichiini + Valgini (T) and Melolonthini + Rutelini (M). Markers for the series are shown above the plot. Regression lines are solid for C, M, dashed for D, and dotted for T. Values for the number of CFS in Cetoniini are lower in comparison to other chafers of the same size.

Abundance of sensilla in brachyelytrous long-horn beetles Necydalini does not suffer in comparison with macroelytrous Cerambycinae.

Lehr’s fields of CFS in long-horn beetles Cerambycidae of approximately the same body size: (A) Rhagium sycophanta, (B) Necydalis major, (C) Callisphyris macropus; (D) Tragocerus spencei. The numbers of CFS in (A-D) are respectively 52, 111, 138, and 19. Black outlines of the elytra scaled 2:1 of the natural size are pasted into each photograph. (A) epi-illuminated microscope, (B) TLM, (C, D) SEM. Scale bars in (A-C) 50 µm, in (D) 20 µm.

Reduction of the sensory field was revealed in brachyelytrous Staphylinidae. Stenoelytrous Oedemera and flying Meloidae, unable to link their elytra down the suture, possess the normal amount of sensilla, whereas the field in the stenoelytrous Eulosia bombyliformis is by 5-6 times less than in chafers of the same size but with normally linking broad elytra.


Series of papers:

1. Lehr’s fields of campaniform sensilla in beetles:

- General part and allometry

- Wing reduction and the sensory field

- Modification of elytral mobility



I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, 2004-2018