Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 78–86 | Cite as

Morphometrics of the Southern Green Stink Bug [Nezara viridula (L.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)] Stylet Bundle

  • J F EsquivelEmail author
  • R E Droleskey
  • L A Ward
  • R B Harvey
Systematics, Morphology and Physiology


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.


Food canal salivary canal stylets dimensions morphology 



Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


  1. Brenner DJ (1984) Family I Enterobacteriaceae Rahn 1937, pp. 408–516. In: Krieg NR (ed) Bergey’s manual of systematic bacteriology, Volume 1. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD. 964 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Brozek J, Herczek A (2004) Internal structure of the mouthparts of true bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Pol J Entomol 73:70–106Google Scholar
  3. Cobben RH (1978) Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera part II: mouthpart-structures and feeding strategies. Meded Land Wag 78–5. H. Veenman & Zonen B.V., v+407 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Depieri RA, Panizzi AR (2010) Rostrum length, mandible serration, and food and salivary canals areas of selected species of stink bugs (Heteroptera, Pentatomidae). Rev Brasil Entomol 54(4):584–587Google Scholar
  5. Esquivel JF (2011) Estimating potential stylet penetration potential of southern green stink bug—a mathematical modeling approach. Entomol Exp et Appl 140:163–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Esquivel JF, Medrano EG (2012) Localization of selected pathogens of cotton within the southern green stink bug. Entomol Exp et Appl 142:114–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Esquivel JF, Medrano EG (2014) Ingestion of a marked bacterial pathogen of cotton conclusively demonstrates feeding by first instar southern green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Environ Entomol 43:110–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Frazer HL (1944) Observations on the method of transmission of internal boll disease of cotton by the cotton stainer-bug. Ann Appl Biol 31:271–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hillocks RJ (1992) Fungal diseases of the boll, pp. 239–261. In: Hillocks RJ (ed) Cotton diseases. Redwood Press Ltd, Melksham. 415 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Kingsolver JG, Daniel TL (1995) Mechanics and food handling by fluid-feeding insects, pp. 32–73. In: Chapman RF, de Boer G (eds) Regulatory mechanisms in insect feeding. Chapman & Hall, New York, NY. 398 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Leach JG, Clulo G (1943) Association between Nematospora phaseoli and the green stinkbug. Phytopathology 33:1209–1211Google Scholar
  12. McLain DK, Lanier DL, Marsh NB (1990) Effects of female size, mate size, and number of copulations on fecundity, fertility, and longevity of Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Ann Ent Soc Am 83:1130–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McPherson JE, McPherson R (2000) Stink bugs of economic importance in America north of Mexico. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 253 pp CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Medrano EG, Esquivel JF, Bell AA (2007) Transmission of cotton seed and boll rotting bacteria by the southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula L.) J Appl Microbiol 103:436–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Medrano EG, Esquivel JF, Nichols RL, Bell AA (2009a) Temporal analysis of cotton boll symptoms resulting from southern green stink bug feeding and transmission of a bacterial pathogen. J Econ Entomol 102:36–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Medrano EG, Esquivel J, Bell A, Greene J, Roberts P, Bacheler J, Marois J, Wright D, Nichols RL (2009b) Potential for Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to transmit bacterial and fungal pathogens into cotton bolls. Curr Microbiol 59:405–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Medrano EG, Esquivel JF, Bell AA, Greene J, Roberts P, Bacheler J, Marois JJ, Wright DL, Nichols RL (2011) Analyses of microscopic injuries caused by southern green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) feeding on cotton bolls. Southwest Entomol 36:233–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mitchell PL (2004) Heteroptera as vectors of plant pathogens. Neotrop Entomol 33:519–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mollenhauer HH (1964) Plastic embedding mixtures for use in electron microscopy. Stain Technol 39:111–114Google Scholar
  20. Parsons MC (1962) Skelton and musculature of the head of Saldula pallipes (F.) (Heteroptera: Saldidae). Trans R Ent Soc Lond 114:97–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pearson EO (1935) Investigations on cotton stainers and internal boll disease. Empire Cotton Growing Corporation Progress Reports, Reports from Experiment Station, London. pp. 37–42Google Scholar
  22. Ragsdale DW, Larson AD, Newsom LD (1979) Microorganisms associated with feeding and from various organs of Nezara viridula. J Econ Entomol 72:725–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rohlf, FJ (2017) tpsDIG. Morphometrics at SUNY Stony Brook. (last accessed 28 February 2017)
  24. SAS (2012) SAS Institute, Inc., version 9. Cary, NC, p 4Google Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Research Service, Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research UnitUS Dept AgricultureCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Agricultural Research Service, Food and Feed Safety Research UnitUS Dept AgricultureCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.BeeWeaver ApiariesNavasotaUSA

Personalised recommendations