Several members of the Tephritidae (Diptera) are destructive pests of fruits and vegetables. This study used scanning electron microscopy to analyze the external morphology, typology, size, and distribution of maxillary palpus sensilla of both female and male adults of 6 fruit fly species, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett), B. diaphora (Hendel), B. dorsalis (Hendel), B. minax (Enderlein), B. scutellata (Hendel), and B. tau (Walker). The palpus is equipped with sensilla chaetica, sensilla basiconica, and microtrichia. In addition, the possible functions of the sensillum types are discussed. Probable functions include the mechanoreception of sensilla chaetica and microtrichia, and olfaction of sensilla basiconica. Future functional morphology and electrophysiological studies are needed to confirm these proposed functions.
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Vol. 94 • No. 3