Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Tarsal Taste Discrimination in the Blowfly, Calliphora Vicina Robineau-Desvoidy

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

This paper deals with the problem of the specificity of the sense cells in terminal tarsal taste sensilla on the forelegs of the blowfly, Calliphora vicina Rob.-Desv. (= Calliphora erythrocephala Meigen), in relation to the discrimination these flies are capable of making, as judged by their behavioural responses, between water and weak sugar (sucrose) solutions. First, electrophysiologically recorded responses to pure water are described. As many as three receptor cells in the blowfly terminal tarsal taste hairs can be stimulated by water. Next, the reactions of sense cells to both water and weak sucrose solutions are analysed, showing that up to concentrations of several hundredths of Molar sucrose the responses are indistinguishable from those to water. It is therefore surmised that water and sucrose stimulate the same sense cells in these taste hairs, which raises doubts concerning the specificity generally ascribed to these cells. These doubts are confirmed by the results of experiments showing that water and sucrose adapt, and therefore stimulate, the same sense cells. This finding implies that some mechanism other than specificity of sugar- and water-sensitive cells is required to explain the behavioural distinction shown by blowflies between water and sucrose. Before an alternative was formulated, the comparability of the proboscis response in fixed and in free-moving flies was discussed, and also to what extent single-hair stimulations (such as are usually applied in electrophysiological methods) are comparable with multiple-hair stimulations (as usually applied in behavioural experiments). Both questions could be answered satisfactorily and consequently an alternative for cellular specificity is given. It involves the concept that discrimination occurs in the intact animal on the basis of the input from many tarsal hairs, the cells of each of which respond with different relative impulse frequencies to stimulation with water and to stimulation with weak sucrose solutions.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Netherlands Journal of Zoology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation