The praying mantis is a good model for the study of motor control, especially for investigating the transformation from sensory signals into motor commands. In insects, thoracic ganglia (TG) play an important role in motor control. To understand the functional organization of TG, an atlas is useful. However, except for the fruitfly, no three-dimensional atlas of TG has not been reported for insects. In this study, we generated a three-dimensional atlas of prothoracic, mesothoracic, and metathoracic ganglia in the praying mantis (Tenodera aridifolia). First, we observed serial sections of the prothoracic ganglion stained with hematoxylin and eosin to identify longitudinal tracts and transverse commissures. We then visualized neuropil areas by immunostaining whole-mount TG with an anti-synapsin antibody. Before labeling each neuropil area, standardization using the iterative shape averaging method was applied to images to make neuropil contours distinct. Neuropil areas in TG were defined based on their shape and relative position to tracts and commissures. Finally, a three-dimensional atlas was reconstructed from standardized images of the TG. The standard TG are available at the Comparative Neuroscience Platform website (cns.neuroinf.jp/modules/xoonips/detail.php?item_id=11946) and can be used as a common reference map to combine the anatomical data obtained from different individuals.
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