Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 743–752 | Cite as

Antennal sensilla of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in relation to food preferences and habits

  • Hu-Hai Chen
  • Yun-Xian Zhao
  • Le Kang


The external structure, i.e. number and distribution of sensillae on male and female antennae of 12 species of grasshoppers belonging to Pamphaginae, Catantopinae, Oedipodinae and Gomphocerinae in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Five major types of antennal sensillae were detected - trichoid, long basiconic, short basiconic, slender and short basiconic, and coeloconic sensillae. Total number of antennal sensillae varied among different sexes, subfamilies, feeding groups, life forms and eco-forms. Males showed significantly more sensillae than females, due to presence of more short basiconic and coeloconic sensillae. Species under Catantopinae showed more long basiconic sensillae than the others. The Oedipodinae had the highest number of slender and short basiconic sensillae and coeloconic sensillae, followed by Catantopinae and Gomphocerinae; while Pamphaginae had the fewest. The total number of sensillae showed the same trend for these two types amongst the subfamilies as well, species which prefer habits on the ground possessed fewer antennal sensillae than species which prefer to stay on plants. The maximal number of antennal sensillae were observed in hygrophytous species,Chorthippus albomarginatus, in the 12 grasshopper species investigated, although the data is not statistically significant. The general trend which emerged was that species feeding on grass possessed more antennal sensillae, particularly coeloconic sensillae, compared to other feeding group species.


Antennal sensilla food preference grasshoppers habit 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anton S, Ignell R and Hansson B S 2002 Developmental changes in the structure and function of the central olfactory system in gregarious and solitary desert locusts;Microsco. Res. Tech. 56 281–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ameismeier F 1987 Ultrastructure of the chemosensitive basiconic single-walled wall-pore sensilla on the antennae in adults and embryonic stages ofLocusta migratoria L. (Insecta, Orthoptera);Cell Tissue Res. 247 605–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackith R E and Goto H E 1974 Antennal structures of morabine grasshoppers;Acrida 3 7–17Google Scholar
  4. Bland R G 1982 Morphology and distribution of sensilla on the antennae and mouthparts ofHypochlora alba (Orthoptera: Acrididae)Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 75 272–283Google Scholar
  5. Bland R G 1989 Antennal sensilla of Acrididae (Orthoptera) in relation to subfamily and food preference;Entomol. Soc. Am. 82 368–384Google Scholar
  6. Chapman R F 1982 Chemoreception: The significance of receptor numbers;Adv. Insect Physiol. 16 247–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapman R F and Thomas J G 1978 The numbers and distribution of sensilla on the mouthparts of Acridoidea;Acrida 7 115–148Google Scholar
  8. Chapman R F and Greenwood M 1986 Changes in distribution and abundance of antennal sensilla during growth ofLocusta migratoria L. (Orthoptera: Acrididae);Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 15 83–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen H H, Zhao Y X and Kang L 2003 Comparison of the olfactory sensitivity of two sympatric steppe grasshopper species (Orthoptera: Acrididae) to plant volatile compounds;Sci. China (Ser. C) (in press)Google Scholar
  10. Greenwood M and Chapman R F 1984 Differences in numbers of sensilla on the antennae of solitarious and gregariousLocusta migratoria L. (Orthoptera: Acrididae);Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 13 295–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kafka W A 1970 Molekulare wechselwirkungen bei der Erregung einzeiner Riechzellen;Z. Vergl. Physiol. 70 105–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kang L 1990Influence of grazing activity on the grasshopper community in typical steppe, Ph.D. dissertation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  13. Kang L, Li H C and Zhang Z R 1991 Catalogue of grassland insects in Nei Mongol; inThe grassland insects of Inner Mongolia (eds) Y Ma, H C Li and L Kang (Beijing: Tianze Press) (in Chinese with English summary) pp 91–275Google Scholar
  14. Kang L and Chen Y L 1992 Temporal and spatial heterogeneity of grassland grasshoppers;Res. Grassl. Ecosyst. 4 109–123 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  15. Kang L and Chen Y L 1994a Trophic niches of grasshoppers within steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia;Acta Entom. Sinica 37 178–189 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  16. Kang L and Chen Y L 1994b Multidementional analysis of resource utilization in assemblages of rangeland grasshoppers;Entom. Sinica 1 178–192Google Scholar
  17. Kang L, Gan Y L and Li S W 1999 The structural adaptation of mandibles and food specificity in grasshoppers on Inner Mongolian Grasslands;J. Orth. Res. 8 257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Key K H L 1985 Monograph of the Monistriini and Petasidini (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae);Aust. J. Zool. Suppl. Ser. 107 1–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li H C and Chen Y L 1985 Studies on the feeding behaviour of acridoids in the typical steppe subzone of Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia) Autonomous Region 2. Characteristics of food selection in natural plant communities;Res. Grassl. Ecosyst. 1 154–156 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  20. Li H C, Xi R H and Chen Y L 1983 Studies on the feeding behaviour of acridids in typical steppe subzone of Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia) Autonomous Region 1. Characteristics of food selection within the artificial cages;Acta Ecol. Sinica 3 214–228 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  21. Li H C, Wang Z and Chen Y L 1987 Food consumption and utilization by three species of acridids (adult stage) in typical steppe;Acta Ecol. Sinica 7 331–338 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  22. Ma W C and Visser J H 1987 Single unit analysis of odor quality coding by the olfactory antennal receptor system of Colorado beetle;Ent. Exp. Appl. 24 520–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mustaparta H 1975 Responses of single olfactory cells in the pine weevilHylobius abietis L. (Col.: Curculionidae);J. Comp. Physiol. 97 271–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ochieng S A and Hansson B S 1996 Morphological types and physiological responses of antennal olfactory receptor neurous in the desert locust,Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae);The Proceeding of XX International Congress of Entomology, Florence, Italy, August 25–31, p 137Google Scholar
  25. Ocheing S A, Hallberg E and Hansson B S 1998 Fine structure and distribution of antennal sensilla of the desert locust,Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae);Cell Tissue Res. 291 525–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Riegert P W 1960 The humidity reactions ofMelanoplus bivittatus (Say) (Orthoptera: Acrididea);Biol. Bull. 106 122–128Google Scholar
  27. Slifer E H, Prestage J J and Beams H W 1959 The chemoreceptors and other sense organs on the antennal flagellum of the grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididea);J. Morphol. 105 145–191PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yan Z C and Chen Y L 1997 Studies on the individual size group and the life form of grasshoppers in typical steppe of Inner Mongolia, China;Acta Ecol. Sinica 17 666–670 (in Chinese with English summary)Google Scholar
  29. Zacharuk R Y 1985 Antenna and sensilla; inComprehensive insect physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology (eds) G A Kerkut and L I Gilbert (Oxford: Pergamon) Vol. 6, pp 1–69Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State key laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations