From ZooTerms (Dictionary of Invertebrate Zoology)
Jump to: navigation, search
organule (organule (noun; English organ; suffix French -ule small)): An organule is a small organ in an arthropod integument that develops from a single epidermal cell dividing twice to form four cells which consist of:
  1. a bristle or canal producing cell.
  2. a socket producing cell.
  3. a gland cell or a sensory neuron cell.
  4. an accessory cell sometimes called a Schwann cell or potentially a stem cell for further elaboration of the organule in future molts.


The concept of an organule was developed in the German literature on insect development (Henke 1953) but the name 'organule' was christened by Peter Lawrence (1974) working on cuticle patterning in the Hemipteran Oncopeltus fasciatus. The term was little used until revived by Merritt (2006) and more recently to discuss the cuticle structure of the American lobster Homarus americanus (Kunkel et al. 2012).

  1. Henke, K. (1953). Uber Zelldifferenzierung im Integument der Insekten und ihre Bedingungen. J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 1, 217-226.
  2. Kunkel JG, W Nagel and MJ Jercinovic. (2012) Mineral Fine Structure of the American Lobster Cuticle. Journal of Shellfish Research 31(2): 515-526.
  3. Lawrence PA. (1974). Cell movement during pattern regulation in Oncopeltus. Nature 248, 609 - 610.
  4. Merritt DJ. (2006). The Organule Concept of Insect Sense Organs: Sensory Transduction and Organule Evolution. Advances in Insect Physiology 33: 192–241.