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By Stephen W. Nichols

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Evolution of Insect Metamorphosis 21 to insects, in which they typically prevent metamorphosis in the immatures and stimulate reproduction in the adults (see Riddiford, Chapter 6, this volume). , 1987) affects duration of the molt cycles and delays metamorphosis (Chang, 1993). , 1991). A. Insect Endocrine Glands The retrocerebral endocrine system of insects consists of (i) several groups of neuroendocrine cells in the nervous system; (ii) corpora cardiaca (CC) where some of the brain neurosecretion is released and additional hormones are produced; (iii) corpora allata (CA) secreting JH and serving also as a neurohemal organ; and (iv) glands providing ecdysteroids for late embryogenesis, larval development, and varying sections of metamorphosis.

Metamorphic development can be regarded as "the manifestation of sequential polymorphism" (Highnam, 1981) produced by the same genome. For example, an epidermal cell produces successively the larval, pupal, and imaginal cuticles (see Willis, Chapter 7, this volume). Some authors regard the transition from larval to pupal and then to the adult functional state as a developmental process during which the epidermis acquires the state of terminal differentiation at which time it produces the imaginal cuticle.

The absence of molting in adult pterygotes is in some cases due to a lack of a sufficient ecdysteroid concentration rather than to the insensitivity of the epidermis. Incomplete molting (without ecdysis) was induced with prothoracic gland implants or exogenous ecdysteroids in adult cockroaches, bugs, and even silkmoths (see Sehnal, 1985, and references therein). In some adults, however, considerable amounts of ecdysteroids occur in the hemolymph but molting does not take place. We cannot exclude differential epidermal sensitivity to different kinds of ecdysteroids but it seems more likely that some time after imaginal ecdysis the epidermis cannot any longer undergo apolysis and produce a new and complete cuticle.

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