Ventilatory rhythms of locusts are generated in the central nervous system (CNS). The primary oscillator or central pattern generator (CPG) is located in the metathoracic ganglion. We studied the different patterns of ventilation by recording long-term efferent discharges from the isolated metathoracic ganglion.Two different basic patterns occur: continuous ventilation and discontinuous ventilation. These patterns can be found in the isolated nerve cord as well as in intact animals. In intact animals sensory feedback usually elicits high frequency continuous ventilation as is the case in most physiological experiments. Many studies of ventilation-associated interneurones were performed under what we call stressed conditions i.e. with strong sensory feedback. Under these conditions many interneurones may be recruited which probably do not belong to the basic CPG. In isolated nerve cords of locusts we recognised the two basic types of ventilation. This provides an experimental approach to the origin of rhythmogenesis in ventilation. We can now examine single interneurones under less stressed or even discontinuous ventilatory conditions in the isolated CNS.We suggest the dominance of intrinsic rhythmogenesis of ventilation in the metathoracic ganglion of locusts.