Suboesophageal Neurons Involved in Head Movements and Feeding in Locusts

Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1979 Aug 1;205(1159):209-27. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1979.0061.


The projections of nerves 6 and 7 of the locust suboesophageal ganglion (SOG) were stained by axonal filling with cobalt chloride. Nerve 6 contains two motoneurons which innervate neck muscles 50 and 51. Sensory neurons innervating hairs on the dorso-occipital region of the head also enter the ganglion through nerve 6 and terminate in a small bilateral plexus. The projections of the head hairs in nerve 6 do not overlap the arborizations of the motoneurons or the neurons of nerve 7, but lie in the same area as descending sensory neurons from wind-sensitive hairs of the front of the head. One branch of nerve 7 (7B) contains two fibres which innervate the salivary gland. These 'salivary' neurons (labelled SN1 and SN2) have their cell bodies in the ganglion. The second branch, 7A, contains sensory neurons from the submentum of the labium, which form four sensory plexuses, two dorsal and two ventral. The sensory plexuses from the submentum have specific regions of overlap with the salivary neurons and with the neck muscle motoneurons. We interpret these as indicating a flow of information from labial receptors signalling head and mouthpart movement to neurons involved in salivation and head movement. We further postulate that the anatomical separation of the various sensory plexuses is indicative of functional localization within the ganglion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eating
  • Ganglia / anatomy & histology*
  • Grasshoppers / anatomy & histology*
  • Grasshoppers / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / cytology
  • Movement
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Neural Pathways
  • Salivary Glands / innervation