Morphometrics of the Southern Green Stink Bug [Nezara viridula (L.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)] Stylet Bundle
The southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a cosmopolitan pest of high-value cash crops, including cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.; Malvales: Malvaceae). The pest can ingest and transmit disease-causing bacterial and fungal pathogens of cotton. We hypothesized that the size of the food canal may contribute to selective transmission, as observed in previous reports. The objective of this study was to examine food canal size and other morphometric parameters of the southern green stink bug stylet bundle at two locations (labium and head) to improve our understanding of factors that may contribute to pathogen transmission. For the food canal, females possessed significantly larger canals than males, major axes were significantly longer than minor axes, and canal sizes were numerically higher at the labium compared with the head. For salivary canal, mean axes lengths were similar between sexes and the head and labium. For both food and salivary canals, axes lengths were longer and area was larger at the labium compared with the head. These findings indicate the presence of a “funnel effect” with canals becoming narrower proximally. Sex and location significantly affected the size of the intact stylet bundle. Results indicate the food canal size was not a factor affecting previously observed selective passive transmission. Major and minor axes measurements, coupled with morphological observations of canal shapes and observed “funnel effect” in the food and salivary canals, improve our understanding of the hemipteran stylet bundle and its relationship with the insect’s internal morphology.
KeywordsFood canal salivary canal stylets dimensions morphology
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