(After Spengel.) a meshwork within a space communicating with the exterior.
In some cases it shows, when submitted to a careful examination under the highest powers of the microscope, and especially when treated with reagents of various kinds, traces of a more or less definite structure in the form of a meshwork consisting of a clear homogeneous substance containing numerous minute bodies known as microsomes, the spaces being filled by a more fluid ground-substance.
Its whereabouts is thus, to a great extent, concealed both from enemies searching for spiders and from insects suitable for food; and its open meshwork of strong threads makes it much less liable to be beaten down by rain or torn to shreds by winds than if it were a flat sheet of closely woven silk.
These often have the form of prisms of calcite surrounded by a cuti cular meshwork; the whole is nourished and kept alive by processes, which in Crania are branched; these perforate the shell and permit the access of the coelomic fluid throughout its substance.
The thecae in several of the families are occasionally provided with spines or lateral processes: the spines are especially conspicuous at the base in some biserial forms: in the Lasiograptidae the lateral processes originate a marginal meshwork surrounding the polypary.