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Structure and mineralization of the spearing mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda; Lysiosquillina maculata) body and spike cuticles

Abstract : Stomatopoda is a crustacean order including sophisticated predators called spearing and smashing mantis shrimps that are separated from the well-studied Eumalacotraca since the Devonian. The spearing mantis shrimp has developed a spiky dactyl capable of impaling fishes or crustaceans in a fraction of second. In this high velocity hunting technique, the spikes undergo an intense mechanical constraint to which their exoskeleton (or cuticle) has to be adapted. To better understand the spike cuticle internal architecture and composition, electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis and Raman spectroscopy were used on the spikes of 7 individuals (collected in French Polynesia and Indonesia), but also on parts of the body cuticle that have less mechanical stress to bear. In the body cuticle, several specificities linked to the group were found, allowing to determine the basic structure from which the spike cuticle has evolved. Results also highlighted that the body cuticle of mantis shrimps could be a model close to the ancestral arthropod cuticle by the aspect of its biological layers (epi- and procuticle including exo- and endocuticle) as well as by the Ca-carbonate/phosphate mineral content of these layers. In contrast, the spike cuticle exhibits a deeply modified organization in four functional regions overprinted on the biological layers. Each of them has specific fibre arrangement or mineral content (fluorapatite, ACP or phosphate-rich Ca-carbonate) and is thought to assume specific mechanical roles, conferring appropriate properties on the entire spike. These results agree with an evolution of smashing mantis shrimps from primitive stabbing/spearing shrimps, and thus also allowed a better understanding of the structural modifications described in previous studies on the dactyl club of smashing mantis shrimps.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 12:54:31 PM
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Yann Delaunois, Sarah Smeets, Cédric Malherbe, Gauthier Eppe, David Lecchini, et al.. Structure and mineralization of the spearing mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda; Lysiosquillina maculata) body and spike cuticles. Journal of Structural Biology, Elsevier, 2021, 213 (4), pp.107810. ⟨10.1016/j.jsb.2021.107810⟩. ⟨hal-03728549⟩



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