Flagellar sensilla of the eusocial gall-inducing thrips Kladothrips intermedius and its kleptoparasite, Koptothrips dyskritus (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripinae)

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Abstract

Insect antennal flagella host a multitude of sensory organs fulfilling different functions. Chemoreception, for example, is essential for insects in many contexts. Both olfaction and contact chemoreception are involved in host-plant selection, as well as in the integrity of insect societies, especially for nestmate recognition. Kladothrips intermedius is a eusocial gall-inducing thrips with two castes: dispersers and soldiers. Koptothrips dyskritus is a specialist in invading Kl. intermedius galls, killing the occupants, and thereby gaining the food and shelter offered by galls. In this study, we compared the morphology and ultrastructure of the flagellar sensilla of Kl. intermedius and Ko. dyskritus via scanning and transmission electron microscopy in order to facilitate future investigations of their sensory ecology, with an emphasis on chemical ecology. The two species show a very similar sensillar array. There are a few mechanosensory trichoid and a second type of mechanosensory sensilla, thermo-hygroreceptive sensilla, olfactory single-walled basiconic and double-walled coeloconic sensilla as well as contact chemoreceptive chaetic sensilla. The latter are sexually dimorphic in Kl. intermedius. Dispersers and soldiers of Kl. intermedius do not present noteworthy morphological differences, but the ultrastructural investigations revealed that soldiers have fewer ORNs, possibly an adaptation to their gall-cloistered lifestyle.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology

Keywords

  • Thrips, Eusociality, Sensilla, Morphology, Ultrastructure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-508
JournalArthropod Structure & Development
Volume40
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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