Function of Antennae


What is the structure and functions of Antennae for insects? Information about the insect Antennae.

Function of AntennaeAntennae; Antennae are paired appendages arising from the second segment of the head. Each antenna consists of three segments—the scape, the pedicle, and the flagellum. Most often the flagellum is divided into numerous smaller segments known as annuli. Although all insect antennae consist of these three basic segments, the appearance of the antennae varies widely. In ground beetles the antennae are long and thread-like, consisting of nearly identical segments. In ladybird beetles the segments grow progressively larger. In butterflies the antennae are knobbed, and in many moths they are feathery. In ants, the antennae are bent so that the first segment lies perpendicular to the following segments.

The primary function of the antennae is to bear sense organs that are used for smelling and tasting food, feeling the texture of surfaces, and detecting vibrations or air movements. Johnston’s organ, whieh is located in the second segment of most antennae, is highly sensitive to all kinds of vibrations and is used for controlling flight by monitoring the insect’s movement through the air.


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