1. Advantage has been taken of the large size of Glyptonotus to study certain structural features, especially skeletal, which cannot be so readily investigated in smaller isopods. Where possible, an attempt has been made to correlate structural peculiarities with functional use.
2. The Legs.—The peculiar articulation, analogous to a spheroidal bony joint, between the coxopodites and basipodites of the thoracic limbs, is described in detail. A comparison is instituted between the full flexion-complex of the isopodan and of the brachyuran walking limb. The peræopods are contrasted with the gnathopods of Glyptonotus, and functional peculiarities pertaining to each group of limbs are discussed.
3. The Peræon.—The medial split in the thoracic sternites is interpreted as a device for allowing of distension of the body, say, after a meal. The arched thoracic somites articulate with each other in a special way, not by a crossed articulation, like that in a pair of scissors, but by a rocker articulation, like that in a spring clothes-pin; this combination of arch and rocker articulation is interpreted as a means of preventing change of internal volume in body flexion. The phenomena pertaining to the moulting process throw light upon the numerical grouping of the successive fusions of coxæ with somites which have occurred in isopods.
4. The Pleon.—The pleon consists of four movable portions, the last four of the seven constituent pieces being welded together. Of the four fused segments, only the first has a complete sternite, like those of somites 1, 2, and 3. In the skeleton of the pleonic floor a wide opening is thus left posteriorly, which is closed by a diaphragm of soft cuticle; part of this diaphragm is elevated into two long parallel folds or valves, one on each side of the anus.
5. The Pleonic Appendages.—The protopodite of each of the anterior three pleopods is composed of two complete pieces; a third piece more proximally situated is interpreted, not as evidence of an additional primitive segment, but as a secondary development in the articular membrane. The uropods have acquired their present position by a forward rotation of the sternite of the sixth primitive somite, and the gill-directed surface of the uropod corresponds to the posterior surface of the pleopods. It follows that what has commonly been called the exopodite of the uropod is a real exopodite. In addition to the pleopods, the internal walls of the whole uropodal chamber subserve a respiratory function.
6. The Cephalosome.—Two thoracic somites are fused with the head to form a cephalosome. By welded inturnings of the anterior border of these two and of the posterior border of the mandibular cephalic somite a strong internal bracing is formed. The tergites of the maxillary somites have apparently disappeared from the dorsal aspect of the cephalon; the endo-skeletal structures described by Lloyd in Bathynomus, and by him named “sternal alæ,” functionally correspond to these tergites in so far as they serve for attachment of muscles for the maxillæ. These “sternal alæ” (which also appear to form a covering for the maxillary excretory gland) with other ventral endoskeletal structures are described in detail. All are rigidly fixed to the maxillo-sternal framework, which is capable of independent movement.
7. The Alimentary Canal.—The foregut of Glyptonotus is not a gastric mill; the muscle-provided involutions of its wall (exactly analogous to those in Bathynomus) are concerned simply with onward propulsion of the food, i.e. with swallowing. Between the midgut and the hindgut, the two opposed ends of which are not in exact alignment, is a strongly contractile part of the gut, which acts as a sphincter. The hepatic cæca could not be examined. Glyptonotus is carnivorous.
8. The Eyes and the Chromatophore-System.—By experiment on colour change of Idotea it has been shown that the eye of this animal acts as a double mechanism, the ventral half being functionally separable from the dorsal. Glyptonotus has retractile chromatophores, and probably undergoes colour change in accordance with différent modes of eye illumination. Its eye is divided into two entirely separate parts, one lying on the dorsal the other on the ventral aspect of the cephalon.
The cost of providing the illustrations which accompany this paper was defrayed by a grant from the Earl of Moray Endowment for the promotion of research in the University of Edinburgh; and the expense of preparing the blocks was defrayed by a grant from the Carnegie Trust.
I have to record my thanks to Dr W. S. Bruce, not only for the material provided, but for information relating to the quarters inhabited by Glyptonotus.