The ’hairwheels’ in Strumigenys ants are not glandular

  • Articles in SCI Journals
  • Dec, 2021

Wang, C., Lin, C-C., Keller, R.A. & Billen, J. (2021) The 'hairwheels' in Strumigenys ants are not glandular.

Asian Myrmecology, 13, e013004. DOI:10.20362/am.013004 (IF2020 0,500; Q4 Entomology)

Ants of the myrmicine genus Strumigenys are characterized by the occurrence of a number of exocrine glands that are exclusive to this genus (Bolton, 1999). One of these structures is the presumed 'mesopleural gland', although its real existence has never been documented. Examination of this conspicuous mesopleural 'hairwheel' organ in 19 Strumigenys species with further scanning microscopy and histology revealed that this structure does not contain any glandular tissue. The peculiar bristle-lined hairwheels of Strumigenys are not covering lateral cavities but are part of the typical transversal ventral groove lying behind the forecoxal insertions, present across most ants. A survey across non-Strumigenys ants using scanning microscopy showed a great variation in the shape of the cuticle and the pilosity surrounding the equivalent mesopleural area, from bare lateral openings to rudimentary hairwheel-like structures in some myrmicine genera. The precise function of the hairwheels remains unknown.


  • The ’hairwheels’ in Strumigenys ants are not glandular Roberto Andrés Keller Pérez Natural History & Systematics - NHS