Ultrastructure of pheromone-detecting sensillum placodeum of the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newmann (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Arthropod Struct Dev. 2000 Apr;29(2):121-8. doi: 10.1016/s1467-8039(00)00022-0.


The pheromone-detecting sensilla placodea are significantly more numerous than other sensory structures in the antennae of the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Their abundance in males is nearly twice of that in females, showing a clear sexual dimorphism. Externally, they have a tortoise shell-like round cuticular plate containing a few polygonal plates separated by narrow ridges. Internally, they house two long dendrites that branch and terminate near fine cuticular pores. They have a system of two bipolar neurons accompanied by three enveloping cells, resembling sensilla trichodea in moths. The conspicuous difference with the latter is that the sensillum-lymph cavity near the outer cuticle is funnel-shaped, into which the tormogen cell projects numerous microvilli whose tips approach the terminal branches of the dendrites.