The water-repellent cerotegument of whip-spiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi)

Jonas O. Wolff*, Michael Seiter, Stanislav N. Gorb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The cuticle of arthropods is usually composed of layers of a chitin-protein-microcomposite, a proteinaceous epicuticle and a thin lipid coating. However, in some instances a thick cement layer (cerotegument) covers the cuticle and may produce elaborate microstructures. This has previously been described for millipedes and mites. Here we report the previously unknown presence of a superhydrophobic cerotegument in whip-spiders (Ambypygi) and reveal its variation in ultrastructure and water-repellence between species. We discuss the relevance of found micro-morphological and physical characters for taxonomy and phylogenetics of this group, and the potential biological functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalArthropod Structure and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Amblypygi
  • Anti-wetting
  • Arachnida
  • Colloid
  • Plastron
  • Surface coating

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