This paper describes the ultrastructural modifications that cockroach campaniform sensilla undergo at three major stages in the molting cycle and finds that the sensilla are physiological functional at all developmental stages leading to ecdysis. Late stage animals on the verge of ecdysis have two completely separate cuticles. The campaniform sensillum sends a 220-mum extension of the sensory process through a hole in its cap in the new (inner) cuticle across a fluid-filled molting space to its functional insertion in the cap in the old (outer) cuticle. Mechanical stimulation of the old cap excites the sensillum. The ultrastructural geometry of late stage sensilla, coupled with the observation they are physiolgically functional, supports the hypotheses (a) that sensory transduction occurs at the tip of the sensory process, and (b) that cap identation causes the cap cuticle to pinch the tip of the sensory process, thereby stimulating the sensillum.

This content is only available as a PDF.