Entomological Review

, Volume 95, Issue 9, pp 1155–1165 | Cite as

Directional and frequency characteristics of auditory receptors in midges (Diptera, Chironomidae)

  • D. N. LapshinEmail author


Individual characteristic frequencies and directional sensitivity of the Johnston’s organ auditory receptors were measured in the midges Chironomus plumosus L. using the method of positive feedback stimulation: responses of receptors recorded with a glass microelectrode from their axons in the antennal nerve were amplified and fed to the stimulating speaker. With the amplitude and the stimulating signal phase properly adjusted, the whole feedback loop fell into auto-excitation with the frequency of oscillations close to the characteristic frequency of the receptor. Three separate groups of receptors were found with mean frequencies of 180, 221, and 264 Hz. These groups differ in their directional properties: the low-frequency receptors are mostly sensitive dorsoventrally, while the directional maxima of mid- and high-frequency ones are combined to provide equal sensitivity in the plane perpendicular to the flagellum. Our data suggest that in Chironomidae a single Johnston’s organ together with the antenna can provide spatial localization of conspecific sounds and also perform the initial stages of frequency analysis.


Entomological Review Directional Characteristic Polar Pattern Paired Receptor Test Insect 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Information Transmission ProblemsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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