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Auditory Thresholds in the American Cockroach (Orthoptera: Blattidae): Estimates Using Single-Unit and Compound-Action Potential Recordings

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Recent commercial suggestions that insect populations can be controlled through the use of ultrasound raises the question of whether or not certain insects have receptors that are sensitive to high-frequency sound. Single neural unit discharges and compound-action potentials were recorded from the ventral nerve cord in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana L., to constant rise time tone pulses from 100 to 40,000 hertz (Hz). Unit responses and compound-action potentials show that the cockroach is insensitive to sound above approximately 3,000 Hz. Data relating latency of the response to intensity of the stimulus suggest that the cockroach cereal system operates on the principle of energy envelope detection. Decreases in latency likely occur primarily as a result of increases in the rate of membrane depolarization in cereal dendrites.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1989

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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