The neck motor system of the fly Calliphora erythrocephala - I. Muscles and motor neurons

N. J. Strausfeld, H. S. Seyan, J. J. Milde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


1. The organization of muscles that move the head was analysed from serial-section reconstructions of whole animals. Muscle innervation was resolved by reduced silver and ethyl gallate staining or by cobalt or Lucifer Yellow fills from single motor terminals at identified muscles. 2. The organization of cuticular attachments for neck muscles, and the arthrology of joints between the rear of the head and cervical sclerites of the prothorax, was analysed from cleared exoskeletons. 3. As a rule, muscle blocks consist of two or more single muscles each supplied by only one motor neuron. Motor neurons supplying associated muscles of a block share the same peripheral motor nerve and have dendrites in a common area of neuropil. 4. The complex shape of motor neuron dendrites suggests that a variety of sensory fibres and interneurons converge on them. This is confirmed by observations of inputs from the halteres and prosternal organs, from hair receptor fields on the notum, and from chordotonal organs in the prothorax. 5. Cobalt coupling reveals that certain neck motor neurons receive input either from visual interneurons or from descending neurons that relay visual information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-224
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'The neck motor system of the fly Calliphora erythrocephala - I. Muscles and motor neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this