Fine Structure of Mouthparts and Feeding Performance of Pyrrhocoris Sibiricus Kuschakevich with Remarks on the Specialization of Sensilla and Stylets for Seed Feeding.
Yan Wang , Wu Dai.
Abstract: Mouthpart structure and feeding behavior in the temperate firebug, Pyrrhocoris sibiricus Kuschakevich, an important pest that feeds on seeds of leguminous and gramineous plants, are described for the first time. Mouthparts were observed using scanning electron microscopy to examine the external morphology, distribution and abundance of sensilla on mouthparts. Feeding performance by adults on both seeds and shoots were observed using a binocular microscope. The four-segmented labium contains 3 types of sensilla trichodea, 3 types of sensilla basiconica, 1 type of sensilla placodea and 1 type of sensilla campaniformia. Among them, sensilla trichodea are most abundant. The tripartite apex of the labium consists of two lateral lobes and an apical plate. Each lateral lobe possesses a field of 12 thick-walled uniporous peg sensilla and long non-porous hair sensilla. The mandibular stylet tips have three central teeth and two pairs of lateral teeth, which may help in penetrating hard seed coats. A series of scale-like projections are present on the inner surface of the mandibular stylets. The externally smooth maxillary stylets interlock to form a larger food canal and a smaller salivary canal, and there are five tubercles near the tip of the right stylet. Cross-sections of the stylet fascicle show that each mandibular stylet has a dendritic canal. The adult feeding process involves several steps, including exploring and puncturing of the host epidermis, a probing phase, an engorgement phase, and removal of the mouthparts from the host tissue. The structure and function of the mouthparts are adapted for the seed feeding habits.