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Dr. habil. Andy Sombke

Department of Integrative Zoology
UZA1 Althanstraße 14
1090 Vienna, Austria

room 3.020

phone: +43 1 4277 76370
fax: +43 1 4277 876370

andy.sombke@univie.ac.at
andy.sombke@gmx.de

Myriapod Morphology & Evolution

My group focuses on a comparative morphological analysis of Myriapoda with emphasis on sensory organs, glandular systems, transformed appendages, and the nervous system. Moreover, we investigate fossil taxa, developmental stages, as well as aspects on taxonomy, biodiversity, and general biology.

Research

Evolutionary transformations and functions of centipede ultimate legs

Among arthropods, trunk legs primarily used for locomotion were transformed many times independently into appendages of various functions and thus are study models to understand pathways of adaptation and evolution. The last pair of legs in centipedes (ultimate legs) does not participate in walking. Often correlated with sexual dimorphism, ultimate legs may be extremely elongated and resemble antennae. We explore the sensory equipment, innervation patterns, and functions of ultimate legs of selected centipede species using multimodal microscopic and electrophysiological techniques. Comparisons with antennae and walking legs will unravel potential constructional morphological constraints. Other modifications are e.g. the occurrence of glandular systems, as well as as the addition an elimination of specific podomeres.

Evolutionary morphology of sensory and processing systems in arthropods

Antennae and other appendages of arthropods are equipped with numerous specialized epidermal sensilla, which are complex in structure and function and play an essential role in shaping  primary processing centers in the the nervous system. The peripheral and central nervous systems show a notable amount of morphological disparity and provide a wealth of information that contributes to our understanding of arthropod phylogeny. In order to explore evolutionary transformations, I analyze the anatomy and morphology of antennae and arthropodia (especially epidermal sensilla),  primary visual, chemosensory, and mechanosensory pathways, as well as secondary processing neuropils in the nervous system.

Publications

2019
Steinhoff POM, Uhl G, Harzsch S, Sombke A (2019). Visual pathways of the secondary eyes in the brain of a jumping spider. bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/640706

Sombke A, Klann AE, Lipke A, Wolf H (in rev.) Primary processing neuropils associated with the malleoli of camel spiders (Arachnida, Solifugae) - a re-evaluation of axonal pathways.

Wittfoth C, Harzsch S, Wolff C, Sombke A (2019) The "amphi"-brains of amphipods: New insights from the neuroanatomy of Parhyale hawaiensis (Dana, 1853). bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/610295

Kenning M, Schendel V, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2019) Comparative morphology of ultimate and walking legs in the centipede Lithobius forficatus (Myriapoda) with functional implications. Zoological Letters 5:3. Open Access

2018
Schendel V, Kenning M, Sombke A (2018) A comparative analysis of the ventral nerve cord of Lithobius forficatus (Lithobiomorpha): morphology, neuroanatomy, and individually identifiable neurons. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 76(3): 377-394. Open Access

Spitzner F, Meth R, Krüger C, Nischik ES, Eiler S, Sombke A, Torres G, Harzsch S. (2018) An atlas of larval organogenesis in the European shore crab Carcinus maenas L. (Decapoda, Brachyura, Portunidae). Frontiers in Zoology 15: 27. Open Access

Haug JT, Haug C, Neumann C, Sombke A, Hörnig MK (2018) Early post-embryonic polyxenidan millipedes from Saxonian amber (Eocene). Bulletin of Geosciences 93: 1. Open Access

Walker AA, Mayhew ML, Jin J, Herzig V, Undheim EAB, Sombke A, Fry BG, Merritt D, King GF (2018) The assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis produces distinct predatory and defensive venoms in separate gland lumens. Nature Communications 9: 755. Open Access

Steinhoff POM, Liedtke J, Sombke A, Schneider JM, Uhl G (2018) Early environmental conditions affect the volume of higher brain centers in a jumping spider. Journal of Zoology 304: 182–192. Link

2017
Kenning M, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2017) The ultimate legs of Chilopoda (Myriapoda): a review on their morphological disparity and functional variability. PeerJ 5:e4023. Open Access

Sombke A (2017) Comparative Analysis of the Centipede Nervous System - Past, Present and Future in Arthropod Neuroanatomical Research. Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 21 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

Kenning M, Sombke A (2017) Sensing from Both Ends? Transformation of Locomotory into Multifunctional Appendages in Chilopoda (Myriapoda). Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 22 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

Müller CHG, Wagenknecht P, Sombke A (2017) Ultrastructure and Phylogenetic Evaluation of the Tömösváry Organ in Craterostigmus tasmanianus Pocock, 1902 (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 56 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

Müller CHG, Sombke A, Thoen H, Undheim EAB (2017) Comparative Morphology and Evolutionary Transformation of Venom Glands in Chilopoda. Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 42 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

Sombke A, Stemme T (2017) Serotonergic neurons in the ventral nerve cord of Chilopoda - a mandibulate pattern of individually identifiable neurons. BMC Zoological Letters 3: 9. Open Access

Henne A, Sombke A, Schmidt-Rhaesa A (2017) Immunohistochemical analysis of the anterior nervous system of the free-living nematode Plectus spp. (Nematoda, Plectidae). Zoomorphology 136(2): 175-190. Link

Steinhoff POM*, Sombke A*, Liedtke J, Schneider JM, Harzsch S, Uhl G. (2017) The synganglion of the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa (Arachnida: Salticidae): insights from histology, immunohistochemistry and microCT analysis. Arthropod Structure & Development 46(2): 156-170. *shared first authorship Link

Henne S, Friedrich F, Hammel J, Sombke A, Schmidt-Rhaesa A (2017) Reconstructing the anterior part of the nervous system of Gordius aquaticus (Nematomorpha, Cycloneuralia) by a multi-methodological approach. Journal of Morphology 278: 106-118. Link

2016
Hädicke CW, Ernst A, Sombke A (2016) Sensing more than the bathroom: sensilla on the antennae, cerci and styli of the silverfish Lepisma saccharina Linneaus, 1758 (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae). Entomologia Generalis 36: 71-89. Link

Hörnig MK, Sombke A, Haug C, Harzsch S, Haug JT (2016) What nymphal morphology can tell us about parental investment – a group of cockroach hatchlings in Baltic Amber documented by a multi-method approach. Palaeontologia Electronica 19.1.5A: 1-20. Open Access

Sombke A, Rosenberg J (2016) Myriapoda. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp. 478-491. Oxford University Press.

Batelle BA, Sombke A, Harzsch S (2016) Xiphosura. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp 428-442. Oxford University Press.

Lehmann T, Melzer RR, Hörnig MK, Michalik P, Sombke A, Harzsch S (2016) Arachnida (excluding Scorpiones). In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp. 453-477. Oxford University Press.

2015
Sombke A
, Harzsch S (2015) Immunolocalization of histamine in the optic neuropils of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda) reveals the basal organization of visual systems in Mandibulata. Neuroscience Letters 594: 111-116. Link

Sombke A*, Lipke E*, Michalik P, Uhl G, Harzsch S (2015) Potential and limitations of X-ray micro-computed tomography in arthropod neuroanatomy – a methodological and comparative survey. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 523(8): 1281-1295. *shared first authorship Open Access

Hilken G, Edgecombe GD, Müller CHG, Sombke A, Wirkner C, Rosenberg J (2015) Interaction of the tracheal tubules of Scutigera coleoptrata (Notostigmophora: Chilopoda) with glandular structures of the pericardial septum. Zookeys 510: 233-242. Open Access

Hädicke CW, Blank SM, Pohl H, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2015) Sensing the world without antennae and eyes: external structure and distribution of sensilla in Eosentomon pinetorum Szeptycki, 1984 and on the protarsus of Acerentomon franzi Nosek, 1965 (Hexapoda: Protura). Soil Organisms 87 (1): 29-49. Open Access

Hädicke CW, Blank SM, Sombke A (2015) Erstnachweis von Eosentomon pinetorum Szeptycki, 1984 (Protura: Eosentomidae) in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Virgo 18: 44-45.

Sombke A, Rosenberg J (2015) Diplopoda - Nervous and neuroendocrine system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 161-179. Brill, Leiden.

Müller CHG, Sombke A (2015) Diplopoda - Sense Organs. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 181-235. Brill, Leiden.

Hilken G, Sombke A, Müller CHG, Rosenberg J (2015) Diplopoda - Tracheal system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 129-152. Brill, Leiden.

2014 and older
Sombke A
, Edgecombe GD (2014) Morphology and evolution of Myriapoda. Arthropod Structure & Development 43: 3-4. Link

Haug JT, Haug C, Schweigert G, Sombke A (2014) The evolution of centipede venom claws – open questions and possible answers. Arthropod Structure & Development 43: 5-16. Link

Sombke A, Ernst A (2014) Structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in Oranmorpha guerinii (Gervais, 1837) (Diplopoda, Polydesmida). Arthropod Structure and Development 43: 77-86. Link

Loesel R, Wolf H, Kenning M, Harzsch S, Sombke A (2013) Architectural principles and evolution of the arthropod central nervous system. In: Minelli A, Boxshall G, Fusco G (Eds.) Arthropod Biology and Evolution: Molecules, Development, Morphology. pp. 299-342. Springer, Berlin. Link

Ernst A, Hilken G, Rosenberg J, Voigtländer K, Sombke A (2013) Structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in the centipede Scolopendra oraniensis (Latreille, 1829) (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha). Zoologischer Anzeiger 252: 217-225. Link

Haug JT, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2013) A centipede nymph in Baltic amber and a new approach for documenting amber fossils. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 13: 425-432. Link

Krieger J, Sombke A, Seefluth F, Kenning M, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2012) Comparative brain architecture of the European shore Crab Carcinus maenas (Brachyura) and the Common hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus (Anomura). Cell and Tissue Research. 348(1):47-69. Link

Sombke A, Lipke E, Kenning M, Müller C, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2012) Comparative analysis of deutocerebral neuropils in Chilopoda (Myriapoda): implications for the evolution of the arthropod olfactory system and support for the Mandibulata concept. BMC Neuroscience 13:1. Open Access

Sombke A (2012) Comparative studies on the nervous system of the Chilopoda with emphasis on the organization of deutocerebral neuropils, sensory structures and olfactory behavior. Inaugural-Dissertation Universität Greifswald. 231 pp.

Sombke A, Rosenberg J, Hilken G, Westermann M, Ernst A (2011) The source of chilopod sensory information: External structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in Scutigera coleoptrata. Journal of Morphology 272: 1376-1387. Link

Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2011) Organization of deutocerebral neuropils and olfactory behavior in the centipede Scutigera coleoptrata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Chemical Senses 36: 43-61. Open Access

Minelli A, Sombke A (2011) Chilopoda - Development. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 295-308. Brill, Leiden.

Sombke A, Rosenberg J, Hilken G (2011) Chilopoda - The nervous system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 217-234. Brill, Leiden.

Müller CHG, Sombke A, Hilken G, Rosenberg J (2011) Chilopoda - Sense organs. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 235-278. Brill, Leiden.

Hilken G, Müller CHG, Sombke A, Wirkner CS, Rosenberg J (2011) Chilopoda - Tracheal system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 137-155. Brill, Leiden.

Rosenberg J, Sombke A, Hilken G (2011) Chilopoda - Excretory system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 177-195. Brill, Leiden.

Hilken G, Minelli A, Müller CHG, Rosenberg J, Sombke A, Wirkner CS (2011) Chilopoda - History of research. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 22-42. Brill, Leiden.

Sombke A (2011) Das Geruchssystem der Hundertfüßer. Greifswalder Universitätsreden 143: 29-39.

Rieger V, Perez Y, Müller C, Lipke E, Sombke A, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2010) Immunohistochemical analysis and 3D reconstruction of the cephalic nervous system in Chaetognatha: insights into an early bilaterian brain? Invertebrate Biology 129(1): 77-104. Link

Rosenberg J, Sombke A & Hilken G (2009) Structure and Function of the Maxillary Nephridium of Lithobius forficatus (Chilopoda, Pleurostigmomorpha). Journal of Morphology. 270(12): 1531-1540. Link

Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2009) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata: New insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers - Short communication. Soil Organisms 81 (3): 319-325. Open Access

Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2008) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda): new insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers. Peckiana 6: 24. (published abstract)

Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2008) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda): new insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers. Journal of Morphology 269(12): 1483. (published abstract)

Müller C, Sombke A & Rosenberg J (2007) The fine structure of the eyes of some bristly millipedes (Penicillata, Diplopoda): Additional support for the homology of mandibulate ommatidia. Arthropod Structure & Development 36: 463-476. Link

Sombke A, Schlegel M (2007) Orthoptera and Mantodea of Istria and the croatian island Šipan. Rostocker Meeresbiologische Beiträge 18: 131-137.

Sombke A (2004) Die Link'schen Typen. biologenheute - vdbiol Landesverbände Nord 3: 12-14.

Sombke A (2003) Sigismund Brauns (1839–1913) und seine Käfersammlung an der Universität Rostock (Insecta: Coleoptera). Arch. Freunde Naturg. Mecklenburg. 42: 5-43.

Sombke A (2000) Ein Neufund der Gewächshausschrecke (Tachycines asynamorus Adelung, 1902) in Rostock. Arch. Freunde Naturg. Mecklenb. 39: 39-44.

Department of
Integrative Zoology
University of Vienna
Althanstraße 14
A-1090 Vienna, Austria
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0