Proboscis of a housefly

Proboscis of a housefly

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Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing the hair-covered proboscis (an elongated feeding organ) of a housefly, Musca domestica. The housefly is entirely dependent on fluid food, which it sponges up with the proboscis; the sponging surface consists of two labella, covered with a network of branching grooves stiffened by cuticular struts (see centre of image). These are in the form of incomplete rings, similar in appearance to the human trachea (windpipe), and prevent the grooves from collapsing. Solid materials are liquified by a drop of saliva and then sponged up in the same way. Magnification: x36 at 35mm size. Original is bw print z340/110.

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Keywords: animal, fly mouthpart, housefly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mouthparts, musca domestica, nature, proboscis, scanning electron micrograph, sem, wildlife, zoology

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