, Volume 48, Issue 11–12, pp 1122–1125 | Cite as

A sensorory input inhibiting heart rate in an insect,Rhodnius prolixus

  • R. G. Chiang
  • J. A. Chiang
  • K. G. Davey
Research Articles


The dorsal vessel of the blood feeding insect,Rhodnius prolixus, was found to increase or decrease its rate of contraction in response to a number of different stimuli. Handling increased contraction rates whereas tactile stimulation of the ventral abdominal cuticle inhibited contraction. Injection of very low concentrations of serotonin or of high concentrations of octopamine enhanced the inhibitory effect, apparently by acting via the nervous system. Higher concentrations of serotonin increased heart rate by acting directly on the myocardium. The inhibitory response is suggested to be one facet of a generalised thigmotactic response.

Key words

Dorsal vessel heart insect serotonin octopamine inhibition 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Chiang
    • 1
  • J. A. Chiang
    • 1
  • K. G. Davey
    • 2
  1. 1.Natural Sciences and Mathematics DivisionRedeemer CollegeAncasterCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada

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