Waterston's Organ of Ceraphronidae Public

ESA 2018 Poster Presentation

The Waterston’s Organ of Ceraphronidae has historically been an enigmatic structure since its discovery and description by J. Waterston in 1923. While the novelty of the organ has led to several hypotheses as to its function, an in depth analyses of its structure has been impeded due to the minute size of Ceraphronids as well as its obscure positioning on the 7th abdominal tergite. This has led to the structure being in a state of stasis for years, with those aware of its importance to the group being unable to fully analyze or describe the organ due to limitations in microscopy. We now provide new insight into the Waterston’s Organ of Ceraphronidae through the use of Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) and Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy (SBFSEM). With modern microscopy techniques we image and describe the structure of the Waterston’s Organ and its use as a character in generic level classification of Ceraphronids and its newly discovered association with the dorsal vessel. Histological sectioning also has allowed for a reevaluation of the Waterston’s Organ as a glandular system.

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