In the present study, we investigated the biology of Dyopedos bispinis, a mast-building amphipod that is abundant near the N. Pertsov White Sea Biological Station. To examine the peculiarities of mast building in Dyopedos bispinis, we studied the social structure of individuals inhabiting the masts and identified the preferred substrata through underwater photography and direct observations, characterized the internal and external structures of the masts, and studied the ultrastructure of pereopodal silk glands using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM, respectively). The most frequent substrata for mast building are other fouling organisms, including hydroids, bryozoans, ascidians and sponges. As in other corophiids, each Dyopedos bispinis mast represents the territory of one female and, occasionally, one male, but unique collective masts occupied by three or more (up to 23) adults were also observed. Masts comprise one or 2-4 central cylinders and a laminated cortex that contains detritus and amphipod silk layers. The pereopodal glandular complex of Dyopedos bispinis is composed of two distinct gland groups, proximal and distal, in each pereopod 3-4, and ducts in the glandular complex lead into a common chamber in the dactylus. The proximal glands are multicellular; their secretory cells are uninuclear, unlike in certain other amphipods; and the cell membrane is deeply invaginated. The invaginations are filled with extensions of the cytoplasm of lining cells, but the origin of the lining is unclear. Axon terminals were observed adjacent to the secretory cells, and it is assumed that these axons regulate amphipod silk glands. The proximal silk glands of Dyopedos bispinis have similarities with the lobed and rosette glands of isopods, but they have strongly elongated forms. We refer to these glands as pseudotubular glands. Such glands are rarely observed in Crustacea and have only been described in silk-producing pereopodal systems of marine Peracarida and in the antenna of terrestrial Malacostraca.

, , , , , , ,
Contributions to Zoology

Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License

Naturalis journals & series

Neretin, N. Y., Zhadan, A. E., & Tzetlin, A. B. (2017). Aspects of mast building and the fine structure of “amphipod silk” glands in Dyopedos bispinis (Amphipoda, Dulichiidae). Contributions to Zoology, 86(2), 145–168.