International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 198–207 | Cite as

External morphology of antennal and rostral sensillae in four hemipteran insects and their possible role in host plant selection

  • Pathipati Usha RaniEmail author
  • Sunkara Sakuntala Madhavendra


The sensory receptors on the antennal flagellar segments and on the rostral tip of four adult hemipteran insects were identified and compared using scanning electron microscopy in order to better understand the role of sensillae in the process of host plant selection and the structural adaptations of feeding organs for phytophagy. The species studied are Riptortus pedestris Fabricius (Alydidae), Elasmolomus sordidus (Fabricius) (Lygaeidae), Cyclopelta siccifolia Westwood (Pentatomidae) and Chrysocoris purpurea (Westwood) (Pentatomidae). Differences in the distribution and arrangement of sensory receptors in the hemipteran families were noted, especially in the shape of the antennal apices, which are of taxonomical significance. A large array of trichoid basiconic and coeloconic sensillae is distributed on the antennal surface. Distal antennal segments have more sensillae and more types of sensillae than the proximal segments, indicating their prominent role in host plant surface exploration. There is only a slight variation in the shape of the stylets owing to the similarity in feeding habits. The mandibular tips are straight and sharp and do not contain any hooks or barbs as in carnivorous species.

Key words

morphology rostral and antennal sensillae Hemiptera Heteroptera host plant selection Riptortus Elasmolomus Cyclopelta Chrysocoris 


Les récepteurs sensoriels présents sur le flagelle antennaire et sur l’extrémité du rostre de quatre insectes hémiptères adultes, Riptortus pedestris Fabricius (Alydidae), Elasmolomus sordidus (Fabricius) (Lygaeidae), Cyclopelta siccifolia Westwood et Chrysocoris purpurea (Westwood) (Pentatomidae) ont été identifiés et comparés à l’aide de la microscopie électronique à balayage. L’objectif de l’étude est de comprendre le rôle de l’équipement sensoriel lors de la sélection de plante hôte et l’adaptation structurale des pièces buccales pour la prise de nourriture. La morphologie des divers types de sensilles présentes est décrite. Nous avons constaté des différences dans la distribution et l’arrangement des récepteurs sensoriels selon les espèces. La surface de l’antenne est équipée d’une vaste zone de sensilles trichoïdes basiconiques et coeloconiques. Les segments antennaires distaux possèdent un plus grand nombre de sensilles de différents types que les segments proximaux, suggérant leur rôle dans l’exploration de la surface de la plante hôte. La forme des stylets apparaît peu variable probablement à cause de la similitude des comportements alimentaires. Les extrémités mandibulaires sont droites et pointues et ne sont équipées d’aucun crochet ou arrête comme chez les espèces carnivores.

Mots clés

morphologie sensilles du rostre et de l’antenne Hemiptera Heteroptera comportement de sélection de la plante hôte Riptortus, Elasmolomus Cyclopelta Chrysocoris 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pathipati Usha Rani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sunkara Sakuntala Madhavendra
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology and Biotechnology DivisionIndian Institute of Chemical Technology TaranakaHyderabadIndia

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