Antennal sensilla of the pine weevil Pissodes nitidus Roel. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Shan-Chun Yan, Zhao-Jun Meng, Lu Peng, Dan Liu
Microscopy Research and Technique 2011, 74 (5): 389-96
The antennal sensilla of the pine weevil (Pissodes nitidus Roel.) were observed with scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The weevil antenna consists of a long scape, a pedicel, and a flagellum with 10 segments; the last four flagellum segments are fused, forming the antennal club, which is densely covered by various sensilla. In both sexes, six types of sensilla, sensilla palmate 1-4, sensilla chaetica, sensilla trichoid, sensilla basiconic 1-2, sensilla rod-like 1-3, sensilla falciform, were identified. Sensilla palmate represent a unique sensillum type in the Pissodes genus, and named here after their palmate shape, also represent the most abundant sensillum type. The TEM analysis of sensilla palmate represents the first such analysis of this sensillum type, and we speculate that the sensilla have an olfactory function. The sensilla trichoid and chaetica were evenly distributed on the three or four hair bands of the club, with much lower numbers than the palmate sensilla. No significant sexual differences in the types, numbers, and distribution of the antennal sensilla were found except for the size. TEM observation indicated that sensilla chaetica and trichoid may function as olfactory sensors. The putative functions of other sensilla type were also discussed with reference to their morphology, distribution, and ultrastructure.

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