Living With Filter Chambers

Filter Chamber

Filter Chamber

Immature cicadas feed on the xylem fluid in the roots of trees. Xylem has low concentrations of most nutrients compared to other plant tissues. Xylem is mostly water. To concentrate the nutrients in xylem for more efficient assimilation, cicadas have a special organ in their digestive system called the filter chamber.   The cicada anterior midgut folds around a section of posterior midgut and hindgut containing the junction of the malpighian tubules.  Water from the anterior midgut can move directly into the hindgut, bypassing the midgut loop.  Thus, much of the water in the food is removed and a concentrated xylem flows into the midgut.  The concentration of nutrients is essential adaptation for feeding on xylem and assimilating the dilute nutrients.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Living With Filter Chambers

  1. Pingback: Living With Filter Chambers | Entomo Planet

  2. Pingback: Living With Filter Chambers | Entomo Planet

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