Skip to main content

Sensory basis for directional wind detection in first instar cockroaches,Periplaneta americana

Summary

  1. 1.

    First instarPeriplaneta americana have only two wind-receptive filiform hair sensilla on each cercus, as compared to over 200 on the cercus of an adult cockroach. The two hairs have preferential planes of deflection which are approximately at right angles to each other (Figs. 1, 2).

  2. 2.

    The responses of single sensory neurons associated with the hairs were recorded extracellularly from the cereal nerve with tungsten electrodes. Movement of a hair in one direction within its preferential plane depolarized the underlying neuron and elicited an increased frequency of action potentials. Deflection in the opposite direction hyperpolarized the cell and caused the cessation of ongoing activity (Fig. 3).

  3. 3.

    Receptive fields for wind in the horizontal plane were plotted for all four hairs. Although the fields were broadly tuned and overlapped each other considerably, each hair sensillum dominated one quadrant of horizontal space, and all 360 ° were covered by the four hairs (Fig. 4).

  4. 4.

    The escape behavior of first instar nymphs, which depends on these sensilla, was oriented away from a source which delivered small puffs of wind. The nymph's accuracy of directed turning was no less than that of adult animals (Fig. 5).

  5. 5.

    When various combinations of hairs were removed from the cerci, the animals could no longer make correctly oriented turns to wind from all angles. The turns they did make reflected the physiological receptive fields of the remaining hairs and suggested that the behavior is based, to some extend, on comparisons of impulse frequency among the four sensory afferents (Fig. 6).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bugnion E (1921) The growth of the antennae and cerci of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana. Bull Entomol Soc Egypt Econ Ser 6:56–66

    Google Scholar 

  • Buño W Jr, Monti-Bloch L, Mateos A, Handler P (1981) Dynamic properties of cockroach cereal “threadlike” hair sensilla. J Neurobiol 12:123–141

    Google Scholar 

  • Camhi JM (1980) The escape system of the cockroach. Sci Am 243:158–172

    Google Scholar 

  • Camhi JM, Tom W (1978) The escape behavior of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana. I. The turning response to wind puffs. J Comp Physiol 128:193–210

    Google Scholar 

  • Camhi JM, Tom W, Volman S (1978) The escape behavior of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana. II. Detection of natural predators by air displacement. J Comp Physiol 128:203–212

    Google Scholar 

  • Dagan D, Camhi JM (1979) Responses to wind recorded from the cereal nerve of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana. II. Directional selectivity of sensory neurons innervating single columns of filiform hairs. J Comp Physiol 133:103–111

    Google Scholar 

  • Dagan D, Volman S (1979) Behavioral and physiological localization of wind stimuli in first instar cockroaches. Neurosci Abstr 5:244

    Google Scholar 

  • Daley DL (1982) Neural basis of wind-receptive fields of cockroach giant interneurons. Brain Res 238:211–216

    Google Scholar 

  • Dumpert K, Gnatzy W (1977) Cricket combined mechanoreceptors and kicking response. J Comp Physiol 122:9–25

    Google Scholar 

  • Fletcher N (1978) Acoustical response of hair receptors in insects. J Comp Physiol 127:184–189

    Google Scholar 

  • Gnatzy W (1976) The ultrastructure of the thread-hairs on the cerci of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana L.: The intermoult phase. J Ultrastruct Res 54:124–134

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicklaus R (1965) Die Erregung einzelner Fadenhaare vonPeriplaneta americana in Abhängigkeit von der Grosse und Richtung der Auslenkung. Z Vergl Physiol 50:331–362

    Google Scholar 

  • Roeder K (1967) Nerve cells and insect behavior. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Google Scholar 

  • Vardi N, Camhi JM (1982) Functional recovery from lesions in the escape system of the cockroach. I. Behavioral recovery. J Comp Physiol 146:291–298

    Google Scholar 

  • Westin J (1979) Responses to wind recorded from the cereal nerve of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana. I. Response properties of single sensory neurons. J Comp Physiol 133:97–102

    Google Scholar 

  • Westin J, Langberg J, Camhi JM (1977) Responses of giant interneurons of the cockroachPeriplaneta americana to wind puffs of different directions and velocities. J Comp Physiol 121:307–324

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dagan, D., Volman, S. Sensory basis for directional wind detection in first instar cockroaches,Periplaneta americana . J. Comp. Physiol. 147, 471–478 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00612012

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00612012

Keywords

  • Directional Wind
  • Sensory Neuron
  • Receptive Field
  • Ongoing Activity
  • Preferential Plane