Digestive, salivary, and reproductive organs of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) B type

Murad Ghanim, Rosemarie C. Rosell, Leslie R. Campbell, Henryk Czosnek, Judith K. Brown, Diane E. Ullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


A microscopic analysis of the morphology and ultrastructure of the digestive, salivary, and reproductive systems of adult Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) B type was conducted using light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy. The internal anatomy of B. tabaci was found to be similar to that reported for Trialeurodes vaporariorum. In a microscopic analysis of the salivary glands, we have shown that each primary salivary gland is composed of at least 13 cells varying in morphology and staining differentially, while the accessory salivary glands are composed of four morphologically similar cells. We analyzed the course of the alimentary canal in B. tabaci, demonstrated the internal morphology of the organs, and clarified the location of the filter chamber relative to other organs in the whitefly. Our observations confirm that the pair of structures extending from the connecting chamber are caeca that may aid in fluid movement through the midgut and are not Malpighian tubules, as previously suggested. We confirm an earlier finding that the whitefly lacks Malpighian tubules, having instead specialized Malpighian-like cells within the filter chamber at the juncture with the internal ileum. Finally, we provide the first scanning electron microscopic analysis showing the reproductive organs of B. tabaci. Our investigation provides clarified terminology for several components of the digestive and excretory system. We also provide drawings and micrographs that will aid future researchers in localizing the internal organs of B. tabaci. We expect our analysis to provide a valuable tool for studying B. tabaci / plant virus interactions and physiological and biological aspects of this insect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Internal anatomy
  • Internal morphology
  • Silver leaf whitefly
  • Sweet potato whitefly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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