Species and sexual differences in antennal lobe architecture and glomerular organization in two parasitoids with different degree of host specificity, Microplitis croceipes and Cotesia marginiventris. Academic Article uri icon


  • The endoparasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Microplitis croceipes (specialist) and Cotesia marginiventris (generalist), are parasitoids of lepidopteran larvae and differ in their degree of host specificity. Recent studies have reported key differences between the two species in the abundance of antennal olfactory sensilla and their response to host-related volatiles. Here, we have compared antennal lobe architecture and glomerular organization in the two parasitoid species by using a combination of axonal tract tracing techniques and confocal microscopy. In M. croceipes, the medial half of the antennal lobe is larger with a greater number of glomeruli compared with the lateral half, whereas in C. marginiventris, the lateral half is larger than the median half. The volume of the antennal lobe is approximately 2.5 times greater in M. croceipes than in C. marginiventris. However, the number of glomeruli per antennal lobe is only slightly higher in M. croceipes (females: 219-222; males: 220-224) than in C. marginiventris (females: 192-194; males: 193-196). A comparison of males and females within each species demonstrated a striking sexual difference in terms of an enlarged glomerulus (macroglomerulus or MG) at the entrance of the antennal nerve and of a complex of 3-4 MG (CMG) in the posterior region of the antennal lobe of males of both species. Being specific to males, both the MG and CMG might be involved in the detection of female-related odor.

published proceedings

  • Cell Tissue Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Das, P., & Fadamiro, H. Y.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Das, Prithwiraj||Fadamiro, Henry Y

publication date

  • May 2013