Abstract

Research on labial palps of Lepidoptera is scarce and requires the use of Scanning Electron Microscopy techniques. We describe and illustrate the three segments composing the labial palps of the Coliadinae butterfly Prestonia clarki, as well as the distribution of sensilla and both of palp's distinctive structures: the Reuter's sensitive patch and the Palp pit organ; in the palps, the basal segment is the longest, and the distal segment is the shortest. We found chaetic sensilla type 1 on the lateral outer surface of the segments. In the Reuter's sensitive patch and the Palp pit organ, sensilla are specialized. In a lateral internal view of the proximal section of the basal segment, Reuter's sensitive patch looks as an elongated area with hundreds of microtrichia, differentiated into three sections; the adjacent area shows fewer microtrichia of shorter length. In a longitudinal view of the distal segment, at the apex of the segment, is the bottle-shaped Palp pit organ; inside the Palp pit are coeloconic sensilla in the basal section and microtrichia in the distal one. In addition, two indeterminate types of sensilla similar to chaetic ones were found within the Palp pit; which we called chaetic sensilla types 2 and 3; chaetic sensilla type 1 are located on the edge of the Palp pit. The sensilla types and their distribution in the Palp pit agree with those described in other species of Lepidoptera.