Engorged

Engorged bedbug feeding!

Another engorged bedbug

I’m trying to  understand the form of the engorged bedbug.  Here are several of the questions I have for Ray, our ever-patient entomologist!

Ray,

I have a lot of questions…

I am sculpting a feeding bedbug. It looks like there a membrane under

the segments that expands, so you get a hard segment and a section of

distended membrane and another hard segment and so on.

This is the pleural membrane that connects the “hard” (sclerotized) segments of each abdominal segment.

There seems to be a raised mid-section ventrally that encloses the

base of the legs. I can see it quite distinctly under the

microscope. When the bedbug is full of blood, does that raised

section stay raised?

I have no idea of where you are looking and at what. I will drop off some figures in your mail box tomorrow morning showing details of the ventral morphology; take a look and let’s talk again. I will also drop off some figures I found previous – one is a good shot of how the mouth parts look inserted.

It seems like the legs come out of the top two ventral segments. The

morphology is confusing because again, it looks like there is a hard

segment dorsally and a segment underneath it that holds the legs?

Let me take a look at the morphology and I’ll get back to you.

On another note, I made contact with Louis Sorkin at the American Museum in NYC (see my earlier blog, “Bigger Bedbugs II” about his video about bedbugs).  I will be visiting him on Friday this week to talk about bedbug morphology and I’ll bring back a couple of engorged bedbugs (in alcohol, of course!)  I should be able to get most of what I need from looking at these specimens under the microscope.  I will also be visiting all of the giant insect models at the AMNH that were done almost 100 years ago (see my other blog from October “1914 Flea Model”)

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