Function

The primary function of antennae is the assessment of the chemical and physical characteristics of the environment. Detection is made with innervated chemosensory and mechanosensory organs that are arrayed on the antennae. A single antenna usually has sensory organs of several types, with different properties. Most of the chemosensory organs are located on the flagellum and often take the form of microscopic chemosensory hairs (sensilla) each only 1 or 2 |lm in diameter. Some antennae, such as the feathery pectinate antennae of silkworms (Bombyx mori), have tens of thousands of sensilla, which are capable of very thoroughly sampling the air that passes in the small spaces between them. A cockroach antenna may have hundreds of thousands of sensilla. The chemicals that may be detected by chemoreceptors on the

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