Introduction: Though it has long been known that the prosomal ganglion of scorpions is supplied by a dense system of arteries, the pattern of this network has never been described and analyzed in detail. Using MicroCT in combination with computer aided 3D-reconstruction we provide the first detailed description of the pattern of arteries in the prosomal ganglion of Brotheas granulatus (Scorpiones, Chactidae) and other scorpion species.Results: The entire prosomal ganglion in scorpions is supplied by a network of arteries that branch off the major arteries of the anterior aorta system. The most prominent of these are the nine transganglionic arteries which run through the nerve mass along the midline of the body and branch terminally, i.e. below the neuropils, into smaller arteries. These arteries reticulate into a dense network between the surrounding somata and the centrally located neuropil structures of the ganglion.Conclusions: We demonstrate the presence in the prosomal ganglion of scorpions of a capillary system made up of afferent arteries which deliver hemolymph into the ganglion and efferent arteries which transport the hemolymph out of the ganglion. Adopting the structural definition used for vertebrate circulatory systems, this capillary network can also be termed a bipolar rete mirabile (located as it is between afferent and efferent arteries) analogous to those found in vertebrates and some echinoderms.Within the rete mirabile of the scorpion prosomal ganglion, some regions (i.e. neuropils) are better supplied than others. The structural information provided here can now be used in functional neuronal studies to determine the physiological and computational significance of the various neuropils in the complex scorpion nervous system. © 2014 Klußmann-Fricke et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Klußmann-Fricke, B. J., Pomrehn, S. W., & Wirkner, C. S. (2014). A wonderful network unraveled - Detailed description of capillaries in the prosomal ganglion of scorpions. Frontiers in Zoology, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-9994-11-28