The acid and alkaline phosphatase activity was measured in the developing egg and in the alimentary canal of aging nymphs as well as adult males and females of different ages. Para-nitrophenol was used as colorimetric standard and disodium p-nitrophenyl phosphate as substrate. Activity was measured in terms of micromoles of p-nitrophenol liberated from the substrate as a result of enzyme action.
Acid phosphatase activity was noticed to increase with the embryonic development and was higher than in the case of alkaline phosphatase. The alkaline phosphatase activity was lowest in the freshly laid egg, but increased more sharply than acid phosphatase during embryonic development.
The activity of both the acid and alkaline phosphatases was highest in the first instar and declined gradually to the fifth instar. The activity of acid phosphatase was higher than alkaline phosphatase in all stages except the first instar where it was almost equal. The activity of both the enzymes was higher during the intermoulting period and declined at each moult indicating a hormone–enzyme relationship.
In adults, activity of both the enzymes increased up to the maturation period after which the activity gradually decreased. Acid phosphatase activity was generally higher in males whereas alkaline phosphatase activity was generally higher in females. In almost all cases, the acid phosphatase activity was found to be higher than the alkaline phosphatase.