Ultrastructure of the secretory portion of the small ampullate gland in the orb web spider, Nephila clavata, has been investigated using the electron microscope. The secretory portion of this gland comprise two different regions which are a S-shaped storage sac and a long, convoluted tail. By the internal textures of the secretory granules, the sac is subdivided into two regions ; the proximal region near the tail and the distal region near the duct. Commonly single layered connectives cover the basal portion of the sac epithelium, and apical portion of the epithelial cells is occupied by the thick cuticles. Within the epithelial cells of both the proximal and distal region, several types of the secretory granules surrounded by a limiting membrane and had characteristic crystalloid are scattered throughout the cytoplasm. The granular size and its electron densities are not coincide with each other according to the maturation level of the granules. The wall of the tail is composed of single layer of columnar epithelial cells, and their nuclei are found at the basal portion of the cells. Dissimilar to the epithelial cells of the sac, apical cuticles are not found at this portion. In the cytoplasm of these cells, numerous secretory granules, synthesized from the rough endoplasmic reticula commonly and had fine fibrous materials, are found. At the cell surface bordering the lumen, microvilli are seen, arid along the cellular boundaries specialized septate junctions and desmosomes appeared.
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