Ultrastructure of the mouthparts of adult sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)

Rosemarie C. Rosell, Jean E. Lichty, Judith K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The fine structure of the mouthparts of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Adult whitefly mouthparts are similar to those of other homopterans, especially aphids, being composed of the labrum, the labium, and the stylets. The stylet bundle is the feeding organ of the whitefly and is composed of 2 mandibular stylets and 2 maxillary stylets. Mandibular stylets, which are located on the outer aspect of the stylet bundle, each contain 2 dendrites. The tips of the mandibular stylets are curved inward, and there are barb-like ridges on the lateral aspects, which probably function in piercing and cutting plant tissues and in anchoring the stylets in the tissues. The maxillary stylets are not innervated and are interlocked to form 2 separate compartments, the food canal and salivary canal. At the distal end of the interlocked maxillary stylets, there is a small depression, which may allow for mixing of the salivary canal and food canal components. Movement of the B. tabaci stylets during feeding is discussed in comparison with other homopterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • Stylet structure
  • fine structure
  • tobacco whitefly
  • virus-vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Insect Science


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