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Ultrastructure of sensilla on the antennae and maxillary palpi of the human-biting black flies, Simulium nigrogilvum and Simulium umphangense, (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Thailand

Fan Huang, Wichai Srisuka, Kittipat Aupalee, Thippawan Yasanga, Rochana Phuackchantuck, Benjawan Pitasawat, Anuluck Junkum, Kwankamol Limsopatham, Sangob Sanit, Jassada Saingamsook, Hiroyuki Takaoka, Atiporn Saeung
Acta tropica 2022 v.232 pp. 106494
Simulium, adults, palps, sensilla, ultrastructure, Thailand
Antennae and maxillary palpi are the most important sensory organs involved in the behaviors of black flies. The ultrastructure of sensilla on these sensory appendages of two human-biting black fly species, Similium nigrogilvum and Simulium umphangense, was studied for the first time. Wild adult females of both species were collected in Umphang District, Tak Province, western Thailand. The morphology and distribution of sensilla were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Overall, the morphology of the antennae and maxillary palpi and distribution of sensilla are similar in the two species. Four major types of sensilla were found on the antennae of both species: sensilla basiconica (three subtypes), coeloconica, chaetica (four subtypes), and trichodea. However, sensilla basiconica subtype IV are only present on the antennal surface of S. nigrogilvum. Sensilla trichodea are the most abundant among the four types of sensilla that occur on the antennae of both species. Significant differences in the length of the antennae (scape and flagellomere IX), length of the maxillary palpi (whole and palpal segments I, III, IV and V), and the length and basal width of four sensilla types (trichodea, chaetica, basiconica, and coeloconica) were found. In addition, two types of sensilla were observed on the maxillary palpi: sensilla chaetica (three subtypes) and bulb-shaped sensilla. Differences were observed in the numbers of bulb-shaped sensilla in the sensory vesicles of S. nigrogilvum and S. umphangense. The findings are compared with the sensilla of other insects, and the probable functions of each sensillum type are discussed. The anatomical data on sensory organs derived from this study will help to better understand black fly behavior.