Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Response characteristics of a cold receptor in the stick insectCarausius morosus

  • Harald Tichy
  • Richard Loftus


The cold cell in the easily identified ‘mound-shaped’ sensillum on the 12th segment ofCarausius morosus' antennae responds to downward temperature (T) steps from about 15 °C with a sharp rise in impulse frequency (F). Responses to similar steps from higher initial temperatures are smaller (Figs. 1, 3, 4). As initialT increases from 16 °C to 31 °C, differential sensitivity to downward steps falls off by a factor of 27: to yield an average increase inF of 1 imp/s, steps down from 31 °C must increase by 1.7 °C; steps down from 16 °C, by only 0.06 °C (Fig. 5). Resolving power forT-steps at mid-range initial temperatures is about 0.7 °C, i.e. the probability that a single cold cell at average differential sensitivity will correctly discriminate between twoT steps 0.7 °C apart is 90% when the cell is presented with each step just once.

The same cold cell also displays a clear dependence on steadyt between 14 °C and 24 °C (Figs. 7, 8). The static discharge rate of a single cell at average differential sensitivity has a resolving power of about 0.9 °C for steadyT. — The static discharge is not affected by the amount of water vapor in the stimulating air (Fig. 9).


Water Vapor Discharge Rate Initial Temperature Response Characteristic Average Increase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



impulse frequency in impulses per second (imp/s)


partial pressure of water vapor in torr


correlation coefficient


temperature in °C


step change inT


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harald Tichy
    • 1
  • Richard Loftus
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Allgemeine BiologieMedizinische Fakultät der Universität WienWienAustria
  2. 2.Institut für ZoologieUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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