Sexually dimorphic and isomorphic glomeruli in the antennal lobes of the sphinx moth manduca sexta

Jean Pierre Rospars, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Antennal robes of adult male and female Manduca sexta were compared in order to investigate the nature and extent of sexual dimorphism of the primary olfactory center of this lepidopteran species. Complete identification of the glomeruli led to the conclusion that all female glomeruli have homologous male counterparts. Thus, there is no sex-specific glomerulus present in one sex and absent in the other. Sexual dimorphism (i.e. glomeruli present but morphologically different in males and females), however, does occur in the three glomeruli composing the male macroglomerular complex. The female homologs of this complex consist of two previously identified 'large female glomeruli' and one newly identified normal-sized glomerulus. The lateral and medial large female glomeruli are interpreted to be homologous to the first two macroglomerular-complex glomeruli - the cumulus and toroid 1. The third male component, the toroid 2, was tentatively identified with a normal-sized spheroidal glomerulus of the female, called here the 'small female glomerulus'. The 60 'ordinary' glomeruli that make up the rest of the glomerular neuropil were found to be homologous in males and females, with the exception of two anomalous (or uncertain) glomeruli. Some variations in relative position and size observed among those glomeruli suggest a diffuse, quantitative kind of sexual dimorphism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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