Salivary glands and their digestive enzymes in pod-sucking bugs (Hemiptera: Coreoidea) associated with cowpea Vigna unguiculata ssp. unguiculata in Nigeria

  • O. L. SoyeluEmail author
  • A. E. Akingbohungbe
  • R. E. Okonji


The salivary glands of the cowpea pod-sucking bugs Anoplocnemis curvipes (Fabricius), Clavigralla tomentosicollis Stål, Clavigralla shadabi Dolling, Riptortus dentipes (Fabricius) and Mirperus jaculus (Thunberg) are described and illustrated. Extracts of the glands were assayed for the presence of proteinases, α-amylase, β-amylase and amyloglucosidase. The salivary glands consist of four-lobed principal glands and a tubular accessory gland, and they differ in shape and size among the different species except for the median lobe, which is more or less spherical. The sickle-shaped nature of the posterior lobe reported before for Riptortus linearis (Linnaeus) was also observed in R. dentipes, suggestive of a probable generic characteristic. Anoplocnemis curvipes has the biggest salivary gland, and it is followed by R. dentipes, M. jaculus, C. tomentosicollis and C. shadabi in descending order. Assays of the gland extracts revealed that the four digestive enzymes tested are present in the five coreoid species. Proteinases were preponderant (1.4–94.9 μg/ml), while amylases were detected in traces [(0.5–11.0) × 10−3 μg/ml]. Proteinases may be largely responsible for the feeding damage caused by the coreoid species and their concentration in the glands of the different species correlates well with their known capacity to inflict pod damage and yield reduction in cowpea. Fourth instar nymphs of the different species also had higher concentrations of the digestive enzymes compared with their respective adults; and this correlates with the known ability of the nymphs to cause greater pod damage and yield reduction than adults.

Key words

Anoplocnemis curvipes Riptortus dentipes Mirperus jaculus Clavigralla tomentosicollis Clavigralla shadabi salivary glands proteinases α-amylase β-amylase amyloglucosidase 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. L. Soyelu
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. E. Akingbohungbe
    • 1
  • R. E. Okonji
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Science, Faculty of AgricultureObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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