• Diptera;
  • anatomy;
  • pharyngeal nerves


We describe the anatomy of the nerves that project from the central nervous system (CNS) to the pro- and mesothoracic segments and the cephalopharyngeal skeleton (CPS) for third instar Calliphora larvae. Due to the complex branching pattern we introduce a nomenclature that labels side branches of first and second order. Two fine nerves that were not yet described are briefly introduced. One paired nerve projects to the ventral arms (VAs) of the CPS. The second, an unpaired nerve, projects to the ventral surface of the cibarial part of the esophagus (ES). Both nerves were tentatively labeled after the structures they innervate. The antennal nerve (AN) innervates the olfactory dorsal organ (DO). It contains motor pathways that project through the frontal connectives (FC) to the frontal nerve (FN) and innervate the cibarial dilator muscles (CDM) which mediate food ingestion. The maxillary nerve (MN) innervates the sensory terminal organ (TO), ventral organ (VO), and labial organ (LO) and comprises the motor pathways to the mouth hook (MH) elevator, MH depressor, and the labial retractor (LR) which opens the mouth cavity. An anastomosis of unknown function exists between the AN and MN. The prothoracic accessory nerve (PaN) innervates a dorsal protractor muscle of the CPS and sends side branches to the aorta and the bolwig organ (BO) (stemmata). In its further course, this nerve merges with the prothoracic nerve (PN). The architecture of the PN is extremely complex. It innervates a set of accessory pharyngeal muscles attached to the CPS and the body wall musculature of the prothorax. Several anastomoses exist between side branches of this nerve which were shown to contain motor pathways. The mesothoracic nerve (MeN) innervates a MH accessor and the longitudinal and transversal body wall muscles of the second segment. J. Morphol. 271:969–979, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.