Stylet (anatomy)

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A stylet is a hard, sharp, anatomical structure found in some invertebrates. For example, the word stylet or stomatostyle is used for the primitive piercing mouthparts of some nematodes[1] and some nemerteans. In these groups the stylet is a hardened protrusible opening to the stomach.

The mouthparts of tardigrades, diptera and aphids[2] are also called stylets.[3]

The stylet is adapted for the piercing of cell walls, and usually functions by providing the operative organism with access to the nutrients contained within the prey cell.


  1. ^ "Digestive System". Nemaplex- The Nematode-Plant Expert Information System. Department of Nematology, University of California, Davis. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ W. Allen Miller, Steven A. Whitham (2013), "Plant viruses", in David M. Knipe, Peter Howley (eds), Fields Virology (6th ed.), Wolters Kluwer, p. 2311, ISBN 9781451105636
  3. ^ "An Introduction to Insect Structure" (PDF). Retrieved 10 July 2018.