As a member of the order Coleoptera, Trichodes apivorus has four wings in two pairs: the elytra and the hind-wings (Burton 1968).  The elytra are a pair of modified forewings which attach at the beetle's thorax (Jaques 1951), and are hardened to protect the delicate hind-wings, as well as the otherwise vulnerable soft tissues of the insect's abdomen T. apivorus picture(Burton 1968).  These elytra, or "wing covers," are part of the exoskeleton protecting the organism (Jaques 1951).  The chitonous exoskeleton also covers the head, thorax and legs and functions as protection from bodily harm and as an attachment point for bodily tissues, both for locomotion and body structure (Jaques 1951).  This allows the beetle to maintain its slender and cylindrical shape (Blatchley 1910).  As an attachment point for muscles, the beetle would be unable to walk or fly without the exoskeletion (Hickman 2009).  The exoskeleton is also responsible for the  red and black coloration of Trichodes apivorus, due to the pigments embedded within it (Jaques 1951).  The outermost cuticle layer covering the organism also prevents dissication, or water loss (Hickman et al. 2009).
        Each of Trichodes apivorus' three thoracic segments is equipped with a pair of jointed legs (Blatchley 1910).  These limbs attach to the body at ball-and-socket joints (Jaques 1951).  The distal tarsal segments are covered with setae, providing grip on the surface of a flower, tree, or any other surface the insect happens to be occupying (Jaques 1951).  Though the legs of the adult beetle are long, the juvenile beetle is equipped with shorter legs to facilitate movement within the confined spaces of a beehive and find prey (Blatchley 1910).
        To navigate its environment and perceive auditory and T. apivorus pictureolfactory stimuli, a pair of 11-jointed antennae can be found on the anterior surface of the head (Wolcott 1947).  The antennae can also detect taste and changes in temperature and humidity (Wolcott 1947).  The wide-set compound eyes of Trichodes apivorus can be found on the anterior surface of the head, and lateral to the antennae (Dillon 1961).  These eyes are made up of many retinal cells in groups surrounding light receptors, or rhabdom (Wolcott 1947).  Because the eyes are incapable of movement and focus, each lens contributes a small part of an image, and these images combine to create a field of vision up to several feet (Wolcott 1947).  Several appendages called maxillae can also be found lateral to the mouth and mandibles (Jaques 1951).  The maxillae are comprised primarily of maxillary and lateral palpi which serve to hold and move food to the mandibles for ingestion.  The short alimentary canal common in carnivorous species is well suited to digesting Trichodes apivorus' choice diet of pollen and insects, which is high in protein (Jolivet 1998).
        Lastly, the abdomen of Trichodes apivorus is composed of 10 segments, many of which cannot be seen externally (Jaques 1951).  This seeming absence is due to modification; the "missing" segments have become structures within the body.  They serve reproductive functions (the genetalia remain within the body until such a time it is needed) (Jaques 1951).  Each of the visible abdominal segments bears a pair of respiratory organs called spiracles (Wolcott 1947), which act as breathing pores to regulate the size of internal trachae (Jaques 1951).  other nutrients are carried by hemolymph in an open circulatory system powered by a rudimentary, tube-shaped heart (Wolcott 1947).  All of these adaptations have made Trichodes apivorus well-suited to the niche it occupies in different stages of its life cycle.


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