Hormonal Control of Diuresis in Insects

  • Simon Maddrell
Part of the Experimental and Clinical Neuroscience book series (ECN)


What are the major constraints that affect the water balance of insects? Most insects live in the terrestrial environment and under most conditions (loosely where the relative humidity is less than 98%) this environment is a drying one (Edney, 1977). Insects, because they are very small relative to most other terrestrial organisms, have a higher surface area/volume ratio. This suggests that particularly for them, life on land poses acute problems of maintaining water content; they seem certain to be prone to desiccation. On the other hand, insects living in fresh water or water whose osmotic concentration is less than that of their haemolymph are likely to face exactly the opposite problem - they have to cope with a constant surplus of water as a result of osmotic influx. Understandably, then virtually all accounts of insect osmoregulation have concentrated on adaptations for water conservation in terrestrial insects and for water elimination in insects living in dilute waters. Of the systems that allow insects to cope with these problems we are here mainly concerned with the excretory system.


Hormonal Control Fluid Secretion Malpighian Tubule Water Load Evaporative Water Loss 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Maddrell
    • 1
  1. 1.A.F.R.C. Unit, Department of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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