• Green leaf volatiles;
  • mulberry;
  • electrophysiology;
  • single sensillum recording;
  • double-walled multiporous sensilla

Abstract. Extracellular single sensillum recordings were made from the double-walled multiporous sensilla coeloconica on the antennae of males and females of Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae). The receptor neurones responded to olfactory stimuli; no thermo- or hygroreceptors were found. Many neurones responded with a decrease of the transepithelial potential and increased rates of nerve impulses to aliphatic hydrocarbons with chain lengths between three and ten carbon atoms. Most abundant were neurones responding best to acids and aldehydes. Receptor neurones responding with a low threshold to only one acid of a certain chain length were considered as specialists. In some sensilla an increase of the transepithelial potential combined with nerve impulse inhibition was observed in response to monoterpene alcohols. Neurones responding with excitation to aliphatic acids and with inhibition to terpenes were found in the same sensilla. Some neurones excited by aliphatic acids were inhibited by terpenes. Responses to headspace volatiles of mulberry leaves, the larval food, were also obtained. Therefore the coeloconic sensilla may be involved in the selection of oviposition sites.