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B. Understanding Cicadas (Continued)

6C. Filter Chamber

Most insects, including "true bugs" with long antennae (Hemiptera), have a simple gut extending from the digestive sack or mesenteron (M) through a tubular duct with loops descending (A, C) and ascending (B, D) to a constricted end (E) just before the non-absorbent hindgut or ilium (I). The situation in Homoptera is more complex, usually involving some kind of filtering device which concentrates the food while eliminating excess water from ingested sap.

In Fulgoroidea the descending and ascending loops are appressed to make a counter-current filter Note 1 that is wrapped around the ilium.

In Cicadomorpha the end of the gut (E) is enclosed in a lobe of the mesenteron to form a filter chamber (F), and the remainder of the gut is highly convoluted to further help in the recycling of water.

Description of this image precedes.

Anatomical drawing comparing the digestive gut of a true bug (Coreidae), a planthopper (Flatidae), and a leafhopper (Cicadellidae)

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