New paper in Scientific Reports


Comparing head muscles among Drusinae clades (Insecta: Trichoptera) reveals high congruence despite strong contrasts in head shape

Zittra C, Vitecek S, Schwaha T,  et al. (2022)
Sci Rep 12, 1047 (2022). Link. Published online 20 January 2022


The subfamily Drusinae (Limnephilidae, Trichoptera) comprises a range of species exhibiting differently shaped head capsules in their larval stages. These correspond to evolutionary lineages pursuing different larval feeding ecologies, each of which uses a different hydraulic niche: scraping grazers and omnivorous shredders sharing rounded head capsules and filtering carnivores with indented and corrugated head capsules. In this study, we assess whether changes in head capsule morphology are reflected by changes in internal anatomy of Drusinae heads. To this end, internal and external head morphology was visualized using µCT methods and histological sections in three Drusinae species—Drusus franziDdiscolor and Dbosnicus—representing the three evolutionary lineages. Our results indicate that Drusinae head musculature is highly conserved across the evolutionary lineages with only minute changes between taxa. Conversely, the tentorium is reduced in Ddiscolor, the species with the most aberrant head capsule investigated here. Integrating previous research on Drusinae head anatomy, we propose a fundamental Drusinae blueprint comprising 29 cephalic muscles and discuss significance of larval head capsule corrugation in Trichoptera.