Basalar and tibial extensor muscle fibers of Achalarus lyciades were examined with light and electron microscopes. Basalar muscle fibers are 100–150 µ in diameter. T-system membranes and sarcoplasmic reticulum make triadic contacts midway between Z lines and the middle of each sarcomere. The sarcoplasmic reticulum is characterized by a transverse element situated among myofilaments halfway between Z lines in every sarcomere. The morphology of Z lines, hexagonal packing of thin and thick myofilaments, and thin/thick myofilament ratios are similar to those of fast-acting insect muscles. Tibial extensor muscle fibers are 50–100 µ in diameter. Except for a lack of the transverse element, the T system and sarcoplasmic reticulum are similar to those of basalar muscle. Wavy Z lines, lack of a hexagonal packing of myofilaments, and larger thin/thick myofilament ratios are similar to those of other postural muscles of insects. The morphology of basalar and tibial extensor muscle is compared to that of other insect muscle with known functions, and reference is made to the possible contribution of the transverse element of sarcoplasmic reticulum in basalar flight muscle to speed and synchrony in this muscle.

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