To investigate the morphological basis for olfactory reception in the carrot psyllid (Trioza apicalis) we used scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Our study reveals a very sparse sensillar setup. We identify and describe several different types of single-walled sensilla likely to have an olfactory function, as well as mechanosensory hairs and intracuticular sensilla. A T. apicalis antenna is about 0.6 mm long and has 10 segments. Apically on the flagellum there are two conspicuous multi-porous single-walled bristles. There are six cuticular cavities on the flagellum; two smaller on the apical flagellomere, and four larger located on the lateral side of the antenna on flagellomeres 2, 4, 6 and 7. Each cavity contains two sensilla and there are three varieties of cavity sensilla. Mechano- and chemosensory hairs appear in low numbers on all segments but the third. Carrot psyllids most likely use olfactory cues to locate their rather strongly smelling host plants, and we argue that the low number of olfactory sensilla found in this insect may accommodate high concentrations of odour stimuli. There is no sexual dimorphism in the sensillar setup. In concordance with this, no sex pheromones have been described in the Psylloidea so far.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Biological Sciences