Afferent projections of infrared-sensitive sensilla in the beetle Melanophila acuminata (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Wulfila Gronenberg, Helmut Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Beetles of the genus Melanophila are able to detect infrared radiation by using specialized sensilla in their metathoracic pit organs. We describe the afferent projections of the infrared-sensitive neurons in the central nervous system. The axons primarily terminate in the central neuropil of the fused second thoracic ganglia where they establish putative contacts with ascending interneurons. Only a few collaterals appear to be involved in local (uniganglionic) circuits. About half of the neurons send their axons further anterior to the prothoracic ganglion. A subset of these ascend to the subesophageal ganglion, and about 10% project to the brain. Anatomical similarities suggest that the infrared-sensitive neurons are derived from neurons supplying mechanosensory sensilla. The arborization pattern of the infrared afferents suggests that infrared information is processed and integrated upstream from the thoracic ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Brain
  • Mechanoreceptor
  • Melanophila acuminata (Insecta)
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Thoracic ganglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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