The organization of intersegmental muscle fibers associated with the dorsal abdominal sclerites of the cockroach is described. These fibers correspond closely, in the disposition and derivation of the membranes of the transverse tubular system and sarcoplasmic reticulum cisternae, with insect synchronous flight muscle fibers, but differ markedly from these in their fibrillar architecture and mitochondrial content. The mitochondria are small and generally aligned alongside the prominent I bands of the sarcomere, and, in the best-oriented profiles of the A bands, thick filaments are associated with orbitals of twelve thin filaments, a configuration that has also been observed in striated fibers of insect visceral muscle. These structural features of insect muscles are compared and discussed in terms of possible variations in the control of contraction and relaxation, and in the nature of their mechanical role.

This content is only available as a PDF.