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J Insect Physiol. 2011 Oct;57(10):1358-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Proprioceptors involved in stinging response of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.


Two types of mechanosensitive proprioceptor organ are present on the stinging apparatus of the honeybee: campaniform sensilla and mechanosensory hairplates. The campaniform sensilla are located on the surface of the tapering sting-shaft, which comprises an unpaired stylet and paired lancets. Each sensillum on the lancet differs from that on the stylet in terms of their topography and external morphology. The sensory afferents of the campaniform sensilla display slow-adapted firing responses to deformation of the cuticle that would be caused by the action of inserting the sting into a substrate, and their afferent signals induce and/or prolong the stinging response. By contrast, the mechanosensory hairplates are located at basal cuticular plates and on the posterior surface of the lancet valves. Two fields of hairplates on the second ramus at the ventral edge of the groove and on the antero-lateral edge of the oblong plate respond synchronously to protraction of the lancet. During the stinging response, these hairplates are likely to detect any sliding movement of the lancet and its position relative to the stylet. Afferent signals produced by them are likely to provide important information to the neuronal circuit for the generation and modulation of the stinging motor pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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