Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 190, Issue 6, pp 449–468 | Cite as

Morphological and physiological identification of medulla interneurons in the visual system of the tiger beetle larva

  • J.-Y. Okamura
  • Y. TohEmail author
Original Paper


The morphology of visual interneurons in the tiger beetle larva was identified after recording their responses. Stained neurons were designated as either medulla or protocerebral neurons according to the location of their cell bodies. Medulla neurons were further subdivided into three groups. Afferent medulla neurons extended processes distally in the medulla neuropil and a single axon to the brain through the optic nerve. They received their main input from stemmata on the ipsilateral side. Two distance-sensitive neurons, near-by sensitive and far-sensitive neurons, were also identified. Atypical medulla neurons extended their neurites distally in the medulla and proximally to the brain, as afferent medulla neurons, but their input patterns and the shapes of their spikes differed from afferent neurons. Protocerebral neurons sent a single axon to the medulla neuropil. They spread collateral branches in the posterior region of the protocerebrum on its way to the medulla neuropil. They received main input from stemmata on the contralateral side. Medulla intrinsic neurons did not extend an axon to the brain, and received either bilateral or contralateral stemmata input only. The input patterns and discharge patterns of medulla neurons are discussed with reference to their morphology.


Morphology Physiology Stemmata Tiger beetle larva Visual interneurons 



The authors wish to express their thanks to Prof. S.R. Shaw and Prof. I.A. Meinertzhagen (Dalhousie University, Halifax) for their invaluable discussion and correction of the English. This work was supported in part by a Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan (11694091).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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