Ultrastructural Morphology on the Head of a Bedbug (Cimex lectularius)

Ultrastructural Morphology on the Head of a Bedbug (Cimex lectularius)

Ultrastructural Morphology on the Head of a Bedbug (Cimex lectularius)

This scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed on the head region of a bedbug, Cimex lectularius. In this particular view, what appeared to be “hairs” were not hairs at all, but sensory structures known as “setae”, which are composed of chitin, the same material as the rest of this organism’s exoskeleton.

Chitin is a molecule made up of bound units of acetylglucosamine, joined in such a way as to allow for increased points at which hydrogen bonding can occur. In this way chitin provides increased strength, and durability as an exoskeletal foundation.