Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (2): 267-277, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.037

Flower visiting Neuroptera: Mouthparts and feeding behaviour of Nemoptera sinuata (Nemopteridae)

Harald W. KRENN1, Barbara-Amina GEREBEN-KRENN1, Bernhardt M. STEINWENDER1, Alexi POPOV2
1 Department of Evolutionary Biology, University Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria; e-mail:
2 National Museum of Natural History, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd 1, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria

The mouthparts of the spoon-winged lacewing Nemoptera sinuata are adapted for the uptake of pollen and nectar. Form and function of the mouthparts are described, and the technique of food uptake is discussed in context with flower-visiting behaviour and floral architecture of the preferred flowers. The maxillae are the main organs for food uptake. The brush-shaped laciniae, galeae and maxillary palpi form a functional unit which can be extended by the action of the cardo-stipes joint. Video analyses of the mouthpart movements distinguished different patterns of maxillary motions which occur in nectar feeding or pollen collecting. The flower-visiting behaviour and the specialised mouthparts of the Nemopteridae are derived traits which probably evolved from predatory and biting/chewing mouthparts within the Neuroptera.

Keywords: Mouthparts, flower-visiting behaviour, pollen, morphology, feeding, insects, Neuroptera, Nemopteridae

Received: August 20, 2007; Accepted: November 7, 2007; Revised: November 7, 2007; Published: May 15, 2008Show citation

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KRENN, H.W., GEREBEN-KRENN, B., STEINWENDER, B.M., & POPOV, A. (2008). Flower visiting Neuroptera: Mouthparts and feeding behaviour of Nemoptera sinuata (Nemopteridae). Eur. J. Entomol.105(2), 267-277. doi: 10.14411/eje.2008.037.
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