The Biological Bulletin
Y LenskyH A Schneiderman


1. Molting in insects is always accompanied by the production of a molting fluid which fills the exuvial space between the new and the old cuticle and digests the inner layers of the old cuticle. In Hyalophora cecropia, molting fluid is secreted at the outset of adult development and persists until two days before eclosion, whereupon it is absorbed. 2. The present report examines the protein composition of the molting fluid of Cecropia, the origin of the molting fluid proteins, the relation of these proteins to blood proteins and the exchange of macromolecules between the molting fluid and the blood. It also examines the sites of absorption of molting fluid. 3. Disc electrophoresis on acrylamide gels reveals that the molting fluid of Cecropia contains about fifteen protein bands which can be resolved at pH 8.6. Some of these protein bands are detected in the molting fluid at all stages, whereas others appear only at specific times. About ten of the bands are peculiar to molting fluid and are not detected in the blood. About five bands are detectable in both blood and molting fluid, but none of these common bands appears to be a major component of the molting fluid, and only one is a major blood protein. In contrast, the epiderm...Continue Reading


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