Beyond aerodynamics: The critical roles of the circulatory and tracheal systems in maintaining insect wing functionality
Günther Pass’s (2018) review article provides a survey of the circulatory and tracheal systems’ specific contribution to providing essential substances. Microscopists examined the wings of living insects and have observed minute particles moving fast through their veins. They hypothesized that wing veins must be hollow tubes perfused with blood. This discovery led to research on flow patterns and hemodynamics in the veinal network.
The microanatomy of wing veins showed that longitudinal veins are central conduits and contain tracheae and nerves. Its cross-section shows the changes from the base with many asymmetrical shapes to the tip where its shape is circular and smaller. Transverse veins, usually, contain no tracheae yet consist some solid cuticle with no lumen. Pass (2018) assumed that a relatively large volume of hemolymph mass is due to their complex veinal network. This comparison is evident between Ephemeroptera and Hymenoptera.
Speaking of flow patterns in insect wings, Carus (1831) described it as a looping route. The afferent flow into the wing through the anterior veins and the efferent flow returns to the thorax through the posterior veins. But, some species do not adhere to this circular route because the veins end blindly. This led to occasional flow reversals occurring causing irregularities in pressure conditions in the thoracic hemocoel. These irregularities affect the hemolymph fluid columns in the wing veins.
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