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Publisher Website Morphology and anatomy of honeydew eliminating organs

DOI: 10.1016/s1572-4379(97)80057-7


Publisher Summary Honeydew can be harmful to the insects that produce it, either directly or indirectly. Most insects have developed a strategy to withstand such harmful effects by developing respective organs. This chapter describes the morphology and anatomy of honeydew these eliminating organs. A variety of morphological structures associated with the anus have been evolved in different homopteran taxa to get rid of honeydew. The anus is surrounded by a sclerotised ring, bearing setae and pores, positioned at the base of an invaginated tube. The opening of this tube is covered by a pair of plates that are located at the end of the anal cleft. First, the anal plates open by an upward and outward movement on their anterior hinged margins and the anal tube is everted. The anal tube, with the anus at its extremity, is then projected upwards between the plates and the anal setae, which are normally bunched together while invaginated, become splayed open. A droplet of honeydew is then eliminated from the anus and held between the wax-coated setae. As the droplet forms, it becomes coated in wax particles. The anus is then sharply withdrawn, reverting to its invaginated state. As the anal-ring is retracted, the anal setae are forced together and this sudden inward action propels the droplet of honeydew outward. The rectal musculature that is responsible for the elimination of the droplet is not directly involved in the propulsion of the droplet away from the body.

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