The peripheral nerve branch innervating the femoral muscles of the common yellow jacket (Vespula carolina) has been found to possess a thick lemnoblast basement membrane and a complex mesaxon. The term "tunicated nerve" is proposed to designate the type of peripheral nerve in which one or several axons are loosely mantled by meandering, cytoplasm-enclosing membranes of the lemnoblast.
The peripheral axon courses longitudinally in a groove in the muscle fiber between the plasma membrane of the muscle fiber and a cap formed by lemnoblast and tracheoblast. The junction is characterized by apposition of plasma membranes of axon and muscle fiber, abundant mitochondria, and synaptic vesicles in the axon, and aggregates of "aposynaptic granules" plus mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum on the muscle side of the synapse. Unlike the vertebrate striated muscle fiber, no complex infolding of the synapsing plasma membrane of the muscle fiber occurs.
The "connecting tissue" of the insect is formed by tracheoblasts, their basement membranes, and the basement membranes of other cells. Further mechanical support is given by the ramifying tracheoles.
The physiologic roles of the specialized structures are considered.