Breathe, Breathe in the Air

Breathe, Breathe in the Air

Rich Pollett brings us extreme closeups of insects breathing. Watch the spiracles rise and fall as air is pumped through a system of breathing tubes, as seen in this infograph: http://tabletopwhale.com/2014/10/24/3-different-ways-to-breathe.html 

Originally shared by Rich Pollett

A Giant Texas Katydid (Neobarrettia spinosa) chirping, breathing, and grooming is way more captivating than I expected it might be. Have you ever looked so closely at an insect? I don’t mean macrophotography. I’m talking about extremely close-up footage of a bug in motion. Insects respire a lot differently than us.

Like us however, they depend on oxygen to fuel their cellular processes, but instead of breathing through their mouths, they take in air through a series of tiny holes called spiracles. These spiracles are distributed along an insect’s exoskeleton, and act as portals to a ramifying network of tiny, internal, fluid-filled tubes called tracheae, which the insect uses in place of lungs. Air enters through the spiracles and diffuses down the tracheae. Oxygen from the atmosphere is delivered to the insect’s cells, where it is exchanged for carbon dioxide. CO2 is then emitted back into the atmosphere via the tracheael system, typically through spiracles located toward the rear of the insect.

Video by precarious333:

Neobarrettia spinosa (Giant Texas Katydid) adult male

Texas Entomology: http://texasento.net/Neobarrettia.htm

#science #scienceeveryday #entomology #grooming

#respiration #spiracles #tracheae  

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6 Comments


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