Mouthparts and stylet penetration of the lac insect Kerria lacca (Kerr) (Hemiptera:Tachardiidae)

Arthropod Struct Dev. 2012 Sep;41(5):435-41. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 22.


Hitherto less known aspects on mouthpart morphology and penetration mechanism of the lac insect Kerria lacca have been explored. Unique details of the mouthparts, i.e. morphology of labium and stylets and salivary sheath have been brought out. The gross morphology of the mouthparts though resembled other plant sucking homopterans; a two-segmented labium with symmetrically distributed six pairs of contact-chemoreceptors on its surface was distinct; the mandibular stylets had serrations on its extreme apical region, while the maxillary stylets had their external surface smooth with parallel longitudinal grooves on their inner surface. Formation of flanges, salivary sheath and penetration pathway observed along with probing and penetration of the stylets intracellularly up to the phloem cells, as illustrated herein, are the addition to the existing knowledge on the structural details of the mouthparts and the feeding behavior thereupon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Ficus
  • Hemiptera / anatomy & histology
  • Hemiptera / growth & development
  • Hemiptera / physiology*
  • Hemiptera / ultrastructure*
  • Mouth / anatomy & histology
  • Mouth / ultrastructure
  • Nymph / anatomy & histology
  • Nymph / growth & development
  • Nymph / physiology
  • Nymph / ultrastructure