Morphology and distribution of setae on the antennules of the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus reveal new types of bimodal chemo-mechanosensilla
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This study describes the morphology and distribution of setae on the lateral and medial flagella of the antennules of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus in an effort to identify antennular chemoreceptors in addition to the well-studied aesthetasc chemosensilla. Setae were examined using light and electron microscopy, and their distribution on flagellar annuli was analyzed. We identified ten setal types based on external morphology: hooded, plumose, short setuled, long simple, medium simple, short simple, aesthetasc, guard, companion, and asymmetric setae, with the last four types being unique to the "tuft" located on the distal half of the lateral flagellum. The three setal types whose ultrastructure was examined – hooded, long simple, and medium simple setae – had characteristics of bimodal (chemo-mechanoreceptive) sensilla. The antennules have four distinct annular types based on their setal complement, as shown by cluster analysis. This basic distribution of non-tuft setal types is similar for both lateral and medial flagella. Annuli in the tuft region have tuft setal types superimposed on a basic organization of non-tuft setal types. These results show that the antennules possess a diverse set of setae, that these setae have a highly ordered arrangement on the antennules, that at least four (and probably many more) of these setal types are chemosensilla, and suggest that most antennular chemosensilla are bimodally sensitive.
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