The organization of sensory afferents in the antennular nerve (AN) of the spiny lobster and the central arborization of the afferents in the lateral and medial antennular neuropils (LAN, MAN) were analyzed by backfilling the AN with biocytin. The MAN receives primarily thick afferents (diameter greater than or equal to 10 microns) with a consistent pattern of arborization from the medial of the three major divisions of the AN. The LAN, in contrast, receives many thin to medium-sized afferents (diameter less than or equal to 0.3-5 microns), in addition some with diameters greater than or equal to 5 microns, from the lateral and dorsal divisions of the AN. In contrast to the consistent pattern of arborization in the MAN, afferents projecting to the LAN arborize in widely different patterns. Serially arranged, orthogonal side branches that are suggestive of topographical representation of the serially arranged sensilla on the antennule contribute to the stratification of the LAN. Together with existing electrophysiological data, these morphological findings are consistent with the idea that the MAN receives primarily mechanosensory (largely statocyst) input, as previously thought, but that the LAN receives chemosensory as well as mechanosensory input. The chemosensory input to the LAN would represent a novel pathway for processing chemosensory input from the antennule.