The sternal gland of primitive termites of the genus Zootermopsis (Z. nevadensis or Z. angusticollus) (Hagen) seems more organized than that of higher termites, in being comprised of three cell layers. It is also studded with about 200 campaniform sensilla. Below the meshwork cuticle of the gland lies a layer of columnar epithelial cells whose apical surfaces form a brush border, and whose basal surfaces are sculptured into a basketwork into which the second layer fits. Below the brush border are small microtubule-associated pits and coated vesicles. No channels can be seen either within or, except for the sensilla, between the cells. The second cell layer probably secretes the trail-following pheromone. Numerous electron-lucent droplets and large channels containing lipid micelles are found in the cytoplasm here, but the channels cannot be traced out of the secretory layer. The third layer consists of large pyriform cells. The campaniform sensilla are composed of three cells: the sensory cell proper whose dendrite carries a modified 9 + 0 sensory process, an accessory supporting cell that secretes an electron-opaque sheath, and an enveloping cell. At the cell borders of the sensillum, regions of septate and tight junction appear. There are also septate junctions between columnar cells and possibly tight junctions between columnar and secretory cells that would open an intracellular and molecular pathway to the endocuticle. The campaniform sensilla may be part of a feedback control system that determines the amount of pheromone deposited during trail laying.

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