The specialist parasitoid, Microplitis croceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), uses chemical cues from plants damaged by herbivore-feeding and also plant by-products in host location and acceptance. These chemicals are detected by the wasp's antennae. We conducted scanning and transmission electron microscopy studies of male and female M. croceipes antennae and detected no distinct morphological differences in the chemoreceptors between the sexes. Male antennae are approximately twice as long as female antennae. We found five morphological sensillar types in both sexes: Sensilla (s) trichodea were the most abundant and distributed over the whole antenna; s. chaetica were present in low numbers only on the scape and pedicel; and s. basiconica, s. coeloconica and elongated s. placodea were found only on the flagellum. Ultrastructural investigations revealed pore systems on s. basiconica and s. placodea. In s. placodea, sensory neurons run parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sensilla with terminal pores. We recorded responses from single olfactory receptor neurons in s. placodea to two plant-emitted volatiles, cis-3-hexenol and ocimene, and two anthropogenic compounds, cyclohexanone and 2-diisopropylaminoethanol. Male receptor neurons were more sensitive than those of females with significantly higher spike frequency being registered from neurons in males.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Developmental Biology
- Insect Science