Publication details

Skin structure and hair morphology of different body parts in the Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)


MADEJ Jan P. MIKULOVÁ Lucie GOROŠOVÁ Alexandra MIKULA Štěpán ŘEHÁK Zdeněk TICHÝ František BUCHTOVÁ marcela

Year of publication 2012
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Acta Zoologica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords hair density; hair morphology; pipistrelle bat; skin glands
Attached files
Description The bat skin shows an unusual morphology that corresponds to adaptations to flying but also performs multiple functions like thermoregulation; gas exchange and water control and provides a protective barrier against the impact of environment and parasites. Here, we compare the microscopic structure of skin collected from the wing and tail membrane with other body parts in the Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)in relation to parasite availability. Statistical analysis of whole skin thickness revealed two main groups of body regions: the first with thin skin (wing membrane and tail membrane) and the second with thick skin (abdomen, footpad, head and dorsum), with thickness differing significantly between these groups. The stratum corneum of the footpad was thicker than that found in other body regions. We also focus on the distribution of hairs and mast cells in the bat skin as well as their scale morphology. Furthermore, we established a new exact method of hair density evaluation in bats. We found that the density of hairs in the dorsal and ventral area was similar but it was significantly higher in the head region. The highest density of hair in the area between the ears may be a factor in choosing the preferential location by parasites. The scale morphology was found variable along axis. In the first to fourth sections of a hair, the scales were long and narrow and their upper margin was wider than their lower margin. In the fifth section of a hair, the scales were smaller and square in transverse section. On other hand, hair morphology did not varied between body regions. Mast cells were numerous in the hairy areas of the dorsum and abdomen or wing trabeculae. These were mainly located around vessels and hair follicles in the skin, which are easily accessible to ectoparasites; therefore, the accumulation of mast cells is essential in this area.
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