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Tissue Cell. 1996 Dec;28(6):703-17.

Sensilla on the maxillary palps of Helicoverpa armigera caterpillars: in search of the CO(2)-receptor.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, Arbeitsgruppe Kaissling, Seewiesen.


The ultrastructure of sensilla on the maxillary palps of Helicoverpa armigera caterpillars has been investigated in order ot find candidates for CO(2)-receptors. The following sensilla are found on the palps: a) 8 chemosensory pegs at the tip; b), a large distal pore plate; c), a smaller proximal pore plate; d), a digitiform organ; e), a campaniform sensillum; and f), 3 scolopidia. Each chemosensory peg at the tip is innervated by 4-5 sensory neurons. Five of these pegs are most probably contact chemoreceptors, because each has a dendrite with a tubular body. The distal pore plate has a porous cuticle and is innervated by 3 sensory neurons, each of which sends a highly branched dendrite into a large cuticular cavity. The proximal pore plate is made up from two fused organs, has also a porous cuticle, and is innervated by two sensory neurons which send their dendrites into a narrow cuticular channel. The digitiform organ is innervated by one sensory cell which sends a highly lamellated dendrite into a narrow channel within a chip-shaped protrusion of the porous cuticle. For several reasons, the digitiform organ is the most probable candidate for the CO(2)-receptor. Another possible candidate is the distal pore plate.

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