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Octopamine-like immunoreactivity in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion of two parasitic wasps, Cotesia glomerata and Cotesia rubecula

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Two closely related parasitoid wasp species, Cotesia glomerata L. and C. rubecula Marshall (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), differ in their display of associative learning and memory during host searching. As octopamine is involved in learning and memory in insects we investigated octopaminergic pathways in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion (SOG) of the two wasps. We used an anti-octopamine antibody and subsequent whole mount analysis using a confocal laserscanning microscope and pertinent software. Three groups of octopaminergic cells were located in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion. One group was located near the antennal lobes and consisted of six to eight cell bodies. A second group was located ventrally in the SOG and was most likely formed by ventral unpaired median (VUM) and VCBN (ventral cell body neurite) neurons. A third group was located in the pars intercerebralis and consisted of four to six cells. Octopamine-like immunoreactivity was furthermore present in the central body, protocerebral bridge, the SOG, antennal lobe, near the alpha and beta lobes of the mushroom bodies and in the mushroom body calyces. Due to the used methods and a high variability in staining intensity it was not possible to detect if there were any differences in the number of neurons, in arborisation patterns or in labelling intensity between the two wasp species.


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