Rhynocoris marginatus Fabricius (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) is an important biological control agent against more than 25 insect pests in India. For a better understanding of the feeding adaptation of this bug, the gross morphology and histology of its head and salivary apparatus were studied using both a light microscope and scanning electron microscope. The head is more or less elongate, mobile, and immersed into the eyes. R. marginatus has a three-segmented curved rostrum; the middle segment is longer than the other two segments. The terminal rostral segment bears spines and trichobothria externally. Stylet bundles bear two pairs of maxillary and mandible stylets in the curved rostrum with serrations. The stylets help to penetrate into the tissue and directly pump the toxic venomous saliva deep into the prey. The principal gland is bi-lobed (anterior lobe and posterior lobe), whereas the accessory gland is uni-lobed, exhibiting distinct functional and histological differences. These glands receive tracheal and nerve supply. Mononucleated, binucleated, trinucleated and polynucleated cells are distributed both in anterior and posterior lobes of the principal gland. The cytoplasm has collecting vacuoles with secretions. Therefore, this predator is highly equipped with well-developed mouthparts that are attached to the salivary apparatus.
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Vol. 12 • No. 19