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Keywords:

  • antennae;
  • morphology;
  • sensilla;
  • Carabidae;
  • Typhlocharis;
  • microscopy

Abstract

The antennal morphology and chaetotaxy were studied in 52 species of the endogean carabid genus Typhlocharis, using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. The antennae are composed of 11 antennomeres (scape, pedicel, and nine flagellomeres). We found considerable variation between species in the third antennomere, with short-stem and long-stem forms, and flagellomere morphology, distinguishing two morphs: rounded (subovoid, subspheric and subquadrate, morph 1) and reniform shapes (morph 2). Antennal sensilla are grouped in six types of sensilla trichodea, three types of sensilla basiconica, one type of sensilla coeloconica, and one type of sensilla campaniformia. The distribution of sensilla along the antennomeres is described. The “rings” of trichoid sensilla in the antennomere body are affected by its shape and there is interspecific variation in the pattern of sensilla coeloconica in antennomere 11°, a novelty for the genus. The types of sensilla found in Typhlocharis are compared to those described in other Carabidae and the potential functionality and taxonomic interest of those variable antennal features are discussed. A correlation between the flagellomere morphology and the presence/absence of a stridulatory organ is suggested. The study also allowed comparing the observation of antennal features by SEM and light microscopy. J. Morphol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.