Fine structural analysis of palpal receptors in the tick Amblyomma americanum (L.)

Research paper by R. F. Foelix, I-Wu Chu-Wang

Indexed on: 01 Dec '72Published on: 01 Dec '72Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


Palps of the tick Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acarina: Ixodidae; nymphal stage) were studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The terminal palp segment (IV) bears the so-called “palpal organ”, a cluster of 10 short, blunt-tipped sensilla. All sensilla (except for the center sensillum) receive a dual innervation: 2 mechanoreceptive dendrites which terminate in the socket membrane plus several chemoreceptive dendrites (4–12) which enter the lumen. The thick-walled cuticular shaft possesses 2–3 small pore openings (100 Å) below the tip, thus establishing communication between dendrites and environment. Two structurally different types of palpal sensilla exist: The A-type has a characteristic doublelumen and always contains 4 dendrites, the B-type features a single lumen and a specially layered cuticular shaft with 6–12 dendrites. The fine structure of the tick palpal receptors corresponds closely to that of known contact chemoreceptors in insects.