International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 225–234 | Cite as

Prothoracicotropic Hormone and Ecdysone Action on Moulting in the Penultimate Instar of Tobacco Cut Worm, Spodoptera Litura (F.)

  • K. KaraiyanEmail author
  • T. Thangaraj
  • M. Aruchami
Research Article


Spodoptera litura (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a serious pest of several crops in India and other countries. Prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) release from the brain of penultimate fifth instars of the noctuid was followed in the laboratory and a spiracle index developed to assess PTTH action. PTTH release from the brain occurred during the scotophase at 4.30 h of day 1 (AZT). Ecdysone secreted in the prothoracic gland was released from the 7th hour of day 1 (AZT), reaching a maximum in the haemolymph on the 9th hour of day 1 (AZT). The prothoracic gland showed three distinct phases, namely growth, synthesis and release. Injected PTTH of 5th instar brain extract induced larval moulting in head-ligated larvae. Partially purified PTTH from 6th-instar S. litura brain induced moulting in 6th instars. Abdomen-ligated penultimate instars administered β-ecdysone showed variable moulting response. The phenomenon of hormonal interaction with development of the penultimate instar of S. litura is discussed.

Key Words

Spodoptera litara prothoracicotropic hormone PTTH ecdysone moulting 


Spodoptera litura (F) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) est un ravageur important de nombreuses cultures en Inde et dans d’autres pays. La production de l’hormone prothoracicotrope (PTTH) libérée par le cerveau du 5ème stade larvaire de la noctuelle a été suivie au laboratoire et un indice d’ouverture des stigmates établit afin de mesurer l’action de la PTTH. La production de PTTH par le cerveau est observée pendant la scotophase à 4h30 le premier jour (AZT). L’ecdysone, produite par la glande prothoracique, est émise à partir de la 7ème heure le premier jour et atteint une teneur maximale dans l’hémolymphe 2 heures plus tard (AZT). La glande prothoracique passe par trois états successifs, à savoir une phase de croissance, une phase de synthèse et une phase d’émission. L’injection de PTTH extrait du cerveau du 5ème stade larvaire de la noctuelle induit la mue larvaire d’une larve dont la tête a été ligaturée. Une purification partielle de la PTTH du cerveau de larve de 6ème stade de S. litura induit la mue du 6ème stade larvaire. L’administration de b-ecdysone à des chenilles de 5ème stade ayant une ligature abdominale se traduit par un comportement de mue variable. L’incidence des interactions hormonales sur le développement de l’avant dernier stade larvaire de S. litura est discutée.

Mots Clés

Spodoptera litura hormone prothoracicotrope PTTH ecdysone mue 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Post Graduate and Research Department of ZoologyKongu Nadu Arts and Science CollegeCoimbatoreIndia

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