Scanning electron microscopy and distribution of specialized mechanoreceptors in the texas rat snake, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri (Baird and Girard)

Morris K. Jackson, Mohamed Sharawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the surface tubercles of a specialized mechanoreceptor found within the head of Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri indicates that the tubercle consists of a craterlike structure with a peg emerging from its center. After removal of the outer keratinized layers of the epidermis, the SEM discloses a replicate tubercle on the underlying alpha keratin layer. Over 6000 tubercles were found within a single snake. The mechanoreceptors were more densely concentrated on anterior scales, and their number appears to be species specific so that they are more concentrated in snakes with smaller heads than in those with larger ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology

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