Neuroanatomy of the sucking pump of the moth, Manduca sexta (Sphingidae, Lepidoptera)

Norman T. Davis, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Knowledge of the neuroanatomy of the sucking pump of Manduca sexta (Sphingidae) is valuable for studies of olfactory learning, pattern generators, and postembryonic modification of motor circuitry. The pump comprises a cibarial valve, a buccal pump, and an esophageal sphincter valve. Cibarial opener and closer muscles control the cibarial valve. Six pairs of dilator muscles and a compressor muscle operate the buccal pump. The cibarial opener and one pair of buccal dilator muscles are innervated by paired neurons in the tritocerebrum, and the cibarial opener has double, bilateral innervation. Their tritocerebral innervation indicates that these muscles evolved from labro-clypeal muscles. The remaining paired buccal dilator muscles each are innervated by an unpaired motor neuron in the frontal ganglion. These motor neurons project bilaterally through the frontal connectives to dendritic arborizations in the tritocerebrum. These projections also have a series of dendritic-like arborizations in the connectives. The cibarial closer and buccal compressor muscles are also innervated by motor neurons in the frontal ganglion, but only the closer muscle neuron projects bilaterally to the tritocerebrum. The innervation of the pump muscles indicates that they are associated with the stomodaeum, and, therefore, the buccal pump evolved from the anterior stomodaeum rather than from the cibarium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-33
Number of pages19
JournalArthropod Structure and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Cibarium
  • Hawkmoth
  • Neuronal tracing
  • Stomatogastric nervous system
  • Stomodaeum
  • Synaptotagmin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Insect Science


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