Circadian organization in hemimetabolous insects

Kenji Tomioka, Salaheldin Abdelsalam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The circadian system of hemimetabolous insects is reviewed in respect to the locus of the circadian clock and multioscillatory organization. Because of relatively easy access to the nervous system, the neuronal organization of the clock system in hemimetabolous insects has been studied, yielding identification of the compound eye as the major photoreceptor for entrainment and the optic lobe for the circadian clock locus. The clock site within the optic lobe is inconsistent among reported species; in cockroaches the lobula was previously thought to be a most likely clock locus but accessory medulla is recently stressed to be a clock center, while more distal part of the optic lobe including the lamina and the outer medulla area for the cricket. Identification of the clock cells needs further critical studies. Although each optic lobe clock seems functionally identical, in respect to photic entrainment and generation of the rhythm, the bilaterally paired clocks form a functional unit. They interact to produce a stable time structure within individual insects by exchanging photic and temporal information through neural pathways, in which serotonin and pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) are involved as chemical messengers. The mutual interaction also plays an important role in seasonal adaptation of the rhythm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1162
Number of pages10
JournalZoological science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Circadian system
  • Clock tissue
  • Hemimetabolous insects
  • Optic lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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