The overall shape of most insect antennae is elongate and cylindrical (Fig. 1, top), although elaborations into plumose, lamellate, or pectinate forms have arisen many times in different insect lineages (Fig. 1, bottom). An elongate, cylindrical morphology, probably the ancestral condition for insect antennae, is found in fossil insects and many other arthropods. There are three parts to an insect antenna: the scape, the pedicel, and the flagellum. The scape is the first segment (most proximal) of the antenna, and it is attached to the head by a rim of flexible, intersegmental cuticle. Thus, the scape (and the rest of the antenna) can move with respect to the head. All the antennal segments are similarly joined to each other by thin, flexible cuticle.
The movements of an antenna are controlled in part by one or two pairs of muscles that attach inside the head (such
FIGURE 1 Insect antennae exhibit a variety of shapes including elongate morphologies (top) and those with lateral elaborations (bottom). [After Romoser, W. S., and Stoffolano, J. G., Jr. (1998). "The Science of Entomology," WCB/McGraw-Hill, Boston, and Loudon, C., et al. (1994). J. Exp. Biol. 193, 233-254, published by McGraw-Hill, with permission of the McGraw-Hill Companies.]
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