The fibrillar flight muscles of several species of tropical water-bugs of the family Belostomatidae have been examined in the electron microscope. The myofibrils are very similar to those of the other fibrillar flight muscles which have been studied. The membrane systems, however, display features which appear to be peculiar to this family. The sarcoplasmic reticulum can be divided into three parts: a series of interconnecting vesicles surrounding the Z-lines, randomly scattered small vesicles around the myofibrils, and flattened cisternae which lie along the transverse tubular system, and form the dyads. These three components of the sarcoplasmic reticulum do not appear to be interconnected. The cisternae of the dyads contain an electrondense substance. The narrow tubules of the transverse tubular system or T-system penetrate deep into the fibre from the cell membrane. They follow a course roughly perpendicular to the myofibrils at the level of the M-lines. The dyads are scattered along their length, and may not be near a myofibril. Another system of very large vesicles is found in the muscle fibres, interspersed among the mitochondria. These vesicles usually appear to be empty; their nature and function are not at present known. Numerous mitochondria are present among the myofibrils.
The peculiarities of the water-bug fibrillar flight muscle are discussed in relation to the flight muscles of other insects and the physiological properties of fibrillar flight muscle.