Mouthparts are among the most important sensory and feeding structures in insects and comparative morphological study may help explain differences in feeding behavior and diet breadth among species. The spotted lanternfly Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Fulgoridae) is a polyphagous agricultural pest originating in China, recently established and becoming widespread in Korea, and more recently introduced into eastern North America. It causes severe economic damage by sucking phloem sap and the sugary excrement produced by nymphs and adults serves as a medium for sooty mold. To facilitate future study of feeding mechanisms in this insect, the fine-structural morphology of mouthparts focusing on the distribution of sensilla located on the labium in adult L. delicatula was observed using a scanning electron microscope. The mouthparts consist of a small coneshaped labrum, a tubular labium and a stylet fascicle consisting of two inner interlocked maxillary stylets partially surrounded by two shorter mandibular stylets similar to those found in other hemipteran insects. The five-segmented labium is unusual (most other Fulgoromorpha have four segments) and is provided with several types of sensilla and cuticular processes situated on the apex of its distal labial segment. In general, nine types of sensilla were found on the mouthparts. Six types of sensilla and four types of cuticular processes are present on sensory fields of the labial apex. The proposed taxonomic and functional significance of the sensilla are discussed. Morphological similarities in the interlocking mechanism of the stylets suggest a relationship between Fulgoromorpha and Heteroptera.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)