The role of eclosion hormone in the larval ecdyses of Manduca sexta

Philip F. Copenhaver, James W. Truman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Each larval moult in Manduca sexta consists of an identical series of developmental and behavioural events leading up to ecdysis. Injections of eclosion hormone into staged larvae in any instar resulted in the premature elicitation of the larval pre-ecdysis behaviour, comprising a rhythmic sequence of muscle contractions, followed by the larval ecdysis behaviour. A marked depletion of eclosion hormone stores form the ventral chain of ganglia coincided with each larval ecdysis and in the moult to the fifth instar, eclosion hormone activity appeared in the blood at the onset of the pre-ecdysis behaviour. Responsiveness to eclosion hormone for pre-ecdysis and ecdysis behaviour developed about 12 and 6 hr before normal ecdysis, respectively. Elicitation of ecdysis behaviour by exogenous hormone inhibited both subsequent behavioural responses to eclosion hormone and endogenous hormonal release. In conclusion, the behavioural programme involved in each larval ecdysis appears to be controlled by the eclosion hormone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Larval moult
  • Manduca sexta
  • ecdysis
  • eclosion hormone
  • pre-ecdysis behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


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