The antennae of the moth, Manduca sexta, and the sensilla and sensory neurons they contain, develop during metamorphosis from pupa to adult. To determine when, during their development, antennae become capable of generating electrical responses to various stimuli, we recorded the electroantennogram (EAG), believed to be the summed extracellular record of receptor potentials, from developing and mature antennae. Antennae from male and female moths are similarly responsive to trans-2-hexenal, while only males respond to Manduca sex pheromone; these two odorants presumably stimulate separate receptors. Mechanical stimulation also elicits and EAG response. EAG responses to olfactory and mechanical stimuli are detectable several days before eclosion but not until the neurons are morphologically and biochemically quite mature. Responses increase in magnitude until the end of metamorphosis and then change little during the first 3 days after emergence of the adult. Responses to different stimuli do not develop synchronously.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science