The Mirid Rectal Organ: Purging the Literature

A. G. Wheeler Jr.


The rectal or perianal organ of mirid (plant bug) nymphs was explored in a recent paper and assumed to have been overlooked by hemipterists. To rebut this notion, references ascribing the presence of an eversible rectal organ in nymphs of Old and New World mirids are cited, and their function of assisting nymphs to maintain contact with their hosts under adverse conditions is discussed. It is concluded that the rectal organ, although inadequately studied and mentioned only sporadically in the literature, occurs in mirid nymphs of all stages and probably in all subfamilies. A similar organ occurs in adult mirids; a similar-appearing, eversible structure is present in nymphs of the Anthocoridae.

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