Hair Plates in Insects

hair plates are sensory organs found on the legs of cockroaches and stick insects. They are responsible for sensing proprioceptive information related to joint movement.


An insect’s antennae are more than just feelers. They play an essential part in its sensory system. Antennae help insects touch objects and detect humidity, temperature, air movement, sound, and odors. They also serve as feedback mechanisms between the visual and motor systems. Insects use their antennae to stabilize their bodies as they move.


hair plates are found on the proximal surface of desert locust legs. They consist of polarized sensory hairs that produce tactile signals and sensory information with each leg movement. These sensors are arranged in rows and are innervated by hair plate neurons. The neurons control the front leg movements during walking.

Prosternal Organ

hair plates are groups of tiny sensory hairs that act as proprioceptors. They are rooted to one neuron and placed at folds within the cuticle so they deflect during joint movement. There are two types of hair plates: fast-adapting neurons and slow-adapting neurons. The fast-adapting neurons respond rapidly to deflections, while the slow-adapting neurons respond more sustainedly. The prosternal organ found in some insects, like blowflies and wood gnats, is a proprioceptive sensor and helps with gaze stabilization.