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Central nervous projections of mechanoreceptors in the spider Cupiennius salei Keys.


The basic organization of sensory projections in the suboesophageal central nervous system of a spider (Cupiennius salei Keys.) was analyzed with anterograde cobalt fills and a modified Golgi rapid method. The projections of three lyriform slit sense organs and of tactile hairs located proximally on the legs are described and related to central nerve tracts. There are five main longitudinal sensory tracts in the central region of the suboesophageal nervous mass arranged one above the other. Whereas the three dorsal ones contain fibers from the lyriform organs, the two ventral ones contain axons from the hair receptors. Axons from all three lyriform organs have typical shapes and widely arborizing ipsilateral intersegmental branches and a few contralateral ones. The terminal branches of the afferent projections from identical lyriform organs on each leg form characteristic longitudinal pathways, typical of each organ: U-shaped, O-shaped, or two parallel bundles. The terminations of the hair sensilla are ipsilateral and intersegmental. Two large bilaterally arranged “longitudinal sensory association tracts” receive inputs from all legs including the dense arborizations from tactile hairs, lyriform organs, and other sense organs. These tracts may serve as important integrating neuropils of the suboesophageal central nervous system.

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Correspondence to Prof. Dr. Friedrich G. Barth.

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Babu, K.S., Barth, F.G. Central nervous projections of mechanoreceptors in the spider Cupiennius salei Keys.. Cell Tissue Res. 258, 69–82 (1989).

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Key words

  • Neuroanatomy
  • Central nervous system
  • Sensory projections
  • Lyriform slit sense organs
  • Hair sensilla
  • Spider, Cupiennius salei Keys. (Chelicerata)