The tymbal muscle fiber in the cicada closely resembles the indirect flight muscle fiber in its structural detail. We agree with other authors that the tymbal muscle is a modified indirect flight muscle.
The peripheral nerve branches to the tymbal and flight muscle fibers are similar to those in the wasp leg. The axon is loosely mantled by irregular turns of the mesaxon, enclosing cytoplasm. The nerve is therefore a tunicated nerve.
The neuromuscular junction in the high frequency muscle fibers shows direct apposition of plasma membranes of axon and muscle fiber, large numbers of mitochondria and synaptic vesicles in the axon, and concentrations of mitochondria, aposynaptic granules, and endoplasmic reticulum in the postsynaptic area of the muscle fiber.
Of special interest is the multitude of intracellular, opposing membranes in the postsynaptic area. They form laminated stacks and whorls, vesicles, cysternae, and tubules. They occasionally show continuity with the plasma membrane, the outer nuclear envelope, and the circumfibrillar endoplasmic reticulum. The membrane system in this area is designated "rete synapticum." It is believed to add to the electrical capacity of the neuromuscular junction, to serve in transmission of potentials, and possibly is the site of the oscillating mechanism in high-frequency muscle fibers.