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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #147583

Title: DIGESTIVE ENZYMES AND STYLET MORPHOLOGY OF DERAEOCORIS NIGRITULUS (UHLER) (HEMIPTERA: MIRIDAE)

Author
item Boyd Jr, David

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2003
Publication Date: 9/1/2003
Citation: Boyd, D.W. 2003. Digestive Enzymesand Stylet Morphology of Deraeocris nigritulus (Uhler) (Hemiptera:Miridae) Reflect Adaptations for Predatory Habits, Dept. of Entomology, CLemson Univ, Clemson, S.C. 29634

Interpretive Summary: A plant bug that is found almost always in pine cones was thought to feed on the plant tissue. I examined the digestive enzymes of the insect and the mouthparts to determine what the insect was capable of eating. I found mostly digestive enzymes and the mouthparts suited mainly for eating other insects. This study will help other scientists to study the feeding behaviors of other related insects.

Technical Abstract: Deraeocoris nigritulus (Uhler) is often collected from the cones of Virginia pine, Pinus virginiana. Most species of Deraeocoris are predacious, but whether this plant bug is phytophagous or predacious is not known. To better understand the feeding adaptations of this mirid, the digestive enzymes from the salivary glands and anterior midgut were analyzed, and the mouthpart stylets were investigated with scanning electron microscopy. Evidence of trypsin-like enzyme, chymotrypsin-like enzyme, and pectinase were found in the salivary glands. Low levels of trypsin-like, chymotrypsin-like, elastase-like, pectinase and -amylase activities, as well as high levels of -glucosidase activity were found in the anterior midgut. The right maxillary stylet has two rows of at least seven strongly recurved teeth in front of at least three weakly recurved teeth on the inner surface pointing away from the head. Therefore, this insect is equipped with digestive enzymes and mouthparts mainly adapted for zoophagy.