Gas excahnge in insects

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  • Gas exchange in insects
    • Spiracles
      • small openings in the thorax and abdomen
      • air enters and leaves and water is lost
      • Sphincters
        • open and close spiracles
        • mostly closed to minimise water loss
          • open when oxygen demand is high or when carbon dioxide levels buid up
    • Tracheoles
      • trachea branches into tiny tracheoles
        • tracheoles spread throughout all the tissues
          • exchanging gases between cells
            • freely permeable to gases
              • no chitin
      • no chitin
      • air moves by diffusion
      • numerous
        • increases surfaces area
      • tracheal fluid at the ends of tracheoles
        • limits penetration of air for diffsusion
          • helps control the surface area available for gas exchange and water loss
    • Trachea
      • tubes leading away from spiracles and running along the insect's body
      • lined with chitin spirals
        • impermeable to gases
          • not much gas exchange takes place
        • keep trachea open if it is bent or pressed
      • air moves by diffusion
    • Tough exoskeleton
      • no gas exchange can take place
        • Need exchange systems to deliver oxygen directly to  and remove carbon dioxide directly from cells
          • No blood pigments that carry oxygen
    • No blood pigments that carry oxygen


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