Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 175, Issue 8, pp 557–565 | Cite as

Wing morph-specific differences in the metabolism and endocrine control of reserve mobilization in adult males of a flightless bug, Pyrrhocoris apterus (L.) (Heteroptera)

  • Radomír SochaEmail author
  • Dalibor Kodrík
  • Jan Šula
Original Paper


The differences in the metabolism and endocrine control of reserve mobilization in long-winged (macropterous) and short-winged (brachypterous) males of a flightless firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) were studied. We found that protein content in the gut was significantly lower in 5–10 day-old macropterous males due to their fasting and higher in 28 day-old ones than in the same aged brachypterous counterparts as the result of renewed food intake. Overall protease activity was significantly lower in 10–14 day-old macropters, while an abrupt increase in the activity starting on day 21 after adult ecdysis was also associated with renewal of the food intake. The levels of carbohydrates in haemolymph were only slightly lower in 1–10 day-old macropterous males than in the same aged brachypters. However, more than twofold higher lipid content in haemolymph of 7–10 day-old macropterous males than in the same aged brachypterous males was found. Higher mobilization of lipid reserves from the fat bodies in macropterous males was accompanied by more intensive adipokinetic response and higher levels of adipokinetic hormone in the body. It is the first report of endocrine regulation of wing morph-related differences in the lipid mobilization in males of wing-polymorphic insects.


Male Protein Carbohydrate Lipid mobilization Adipokinetic hormone 



Adipokinetic hormone


Central nervous system


Corpus cardiacum


Corpus allatum


Juvenile hormone


Juvenile hormone analogue



This study was supported by grant no. A 6007301 from the Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of Sciences (RS). The authors thank Mrs. D. Rienesslová and H. Radová for their technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of SciencesInstitute of EntomologyČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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