Site of water vapor absorption in the desert cockroach, Arenivaga investigata.
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The desert cockroach, Arenivaga investigata, can gain weight by absorption of water-vapor from unsaturated atmospheres above 82.5% relative humidity. Blocking the anus or the dorsal surface with wax does not prevent water vapor uptake, but interference with movements of the mouthparts or blocking the mouth with wax-prevents such uptake. Weight gains are associated with the protrusion from the mouth of two bladder-like extensions of the hypopharynx. During absorption these structures are warmer than the surrounding mouthparts, their surface temperature increasing with relative humidity. This suggests that the surfaces of the bladder-like structures function at least as sites for condensation of water vapor, but the precise location of its transfer into the hemolymph has not yet been identified.
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