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Neuroendocrine mechanism involved in pupal colour dimorphism in swallowtail Papilio xuthus L.

  • Leah R. S. Awiti (a1) and Toshitaka Hidaka (a2)

Abstract

Neuroendocrine mechanism involved in pupal colour dimorphism in Papilio xuthus L. has been studied using ultrastructural techniques. The browning hormone in the form of neurosecretory material is secreted in the brain during the larval stage and transported to the axonal endings in the prothoracic ganglion, irrespective of the colour of the future pupa. If larvae select for pupation environmental conditions that are conducive for the formation of a brown pupa, release of the browning hormone occurs in the middle of the prepupal stage. No release occurs in larvae that have selected environmental conditions that favour the formation of green pupae. It is suggested that the brain, having integrated and interpreted the environmental conditions selected by the larva for pupation, gives the order to release the browning hormone. Such an order is conveyed via neural path from the brain to either the prothoracic ganglion, or some still unknown neurohaemal organ associated with it, from which release then takes place.

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Keywords

Neuroendocrine mechanism involved in pupal colour dimorphism in swallowtail Papilio xuthus L.

  • Leah R. S. Awiti (a1) and Toshitaka Hidaka (a2)

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