Journal of Insect Physiology vol:44 issue:5-6 pages:405-411
Acidic methanolic extracts of larvae of nine different insect species were found to contain substances that cause a lethal effect in the adult stage of the same species and of other species. These endogenous toxic substances, apparently being widely spread over the class of insects, were designated as paralysins, because of their immediate and observable paralytic effect upon injection. The developmental concentration curves of five different species of insects (Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera), Neobellieria bullata (Diptera), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera), Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera) and Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera) indicate that the toxins are not present throughout all the developmental stages in the same concentration. The strongest paralytic activity was found in late instar larvae or in the early pupal stage. The temporal distribution of paralysins during development suggests that they might be involved in metamorphosis. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.