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, 31 (2), 103-20

Evolution of the Suctorial Proboscis in Pollen Wasps (Masarinae, Vespidae)


Evolution of the Suctorial Proboscis in Pollen Wasps (Masarinae, Vespidae)

Harald W Krenn et al. Arthropod Struct Dev.


The morphology and functional anatomy of the mouthparts of pollen wasps (Masarinae, Hymenoptera) are examined by dissection, light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, supplemented by field observations of flower visiting behavior. This paper focuses on the evolution of the long suctorial proboscis in pollen wasps, which is formed by the glossa, in context with nectar feeding from narrow and deep corolla of flowers. Morphological innovations are described for flower visiting insects, in particular for Masarinae, that are crucial for the production of a long proboscis such as the formation of a closed, air-tight food tube, specializations in the apical intake region, modification of the basal articulation of the glossa, and novel means of retraction, extension and storage of the elongated parts. A cladistic analysis provides a framework to reconstruct the general pathways of proboscis evolution in pollen wasps. The elongation of the proboscis in context with nectar and pollen feeding is discussed for aculeate Hymenoptera.

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