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J Comp Physiol A. 2001 Sep;187(7):529-40.

Stridulatory pattern generation in acridid grasshoppers: metathoracic interneurons in Stenobothrus rubicundus (Germar 1817).

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Innovationskolleg Theoretische Biologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.


Stridulation was elicited in tethered gomphocerine grasshoppers of the species Stenobothrus rubicundus in order to identify interneurons of the stridulation pattern generator, and describe their morphological and physiological properties. Nine types of such neurons could be found and characterized; eight of those could additionally be compared to corresponding neuron types previously known from other species. As shown in detail for one selected type, the neurons of the stridulation pattern generator are very similar in their anatomical appearance, and possess similar physiological qualities at least in two species with similar stridulation patterns. Stridulation interneurons of species with largely different stridulatory motor patterns have a similar morphology, but show a different activation timing throughout the stridulation. Nevertheless, special properties such as resetting or initiation capability of certain stridulation interneurons seem to be conserved throughout the species. The results suggest that the stridulation pattern generator of different species consists of a uniform set of interneurons that change their activity pattern to produce species-specific song movements.

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