The influence of neurotransmitters and neuroactive substances on stridulatory behaviour was analysed in two species of acridid grasshoppers (Omocestus viridulus and Chorthippus mollis). Acetylcholine, octopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate were applied by pressure injection (0.5­1.0 nl, 10(-3) mol l-1) into the protocerebrum. All except octopamine were also applied to the metathoracic ganglion by pressure injection or superfusion (1 ml). Injection of acetylcholine into the medial dorsal neuropile of the protocerebrum elicited continuous long-lasting species-specific stridulation in both acridid species. All other substances tested had no effect when injected into the brain. Injection of acetylcholine into the medial dorsal neuropile of the metathoracic ganglion enhanced the amplitude of the stridulatory leg movements elicited by electrical brain stimulation. It did not alter the repetition rate or coordination of the movements in O. viridulus; but it decreased the length of stridulatory cycles in C. mollis. Injection of gamma-aminobutyric acid into the medial dorsal metathoracic neuropile in both species suppressed the stridulatory leg movements ipsilateral to the injection site but did not alter those on the contralateral side. Superfusion of the metathoracic ganglion with gamma-aminobutyric acid suppressed the movements of both hindlegs. Pressure injection of glutamate into the metathoracic ganglion had no effect on the stridulatory leg movements, but superfusion enhanced the stridulatory movements.

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