M. L. Pan, William H. Telfer
Journal of Insect Science 1 (2), 1-8, (1 April 2001) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.001.0201
Most insects produce two or more storage hexamers whose constituents and developmental profiles are sufficiently different to suggest specialization in the ways that they support metamorphosis and reproduction. Hexamerin specializations are compared here in the Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), which produces eggs during the pupal-adult molt, and the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), which produces eggs under long-day conditions after adult eclosion. In both sexes of both species, reserves of arylphorin (ArH) were exhausted by the end of metamorphosis. In Cecropia, the same was true for the high-methionine hexamerins, V-MtH and M-MtH. But in short day Monarch females 20–30% of the pupal reserves of V-MtH and M-MtH survived metamorphosis, persisting until long-day conditions were imposed to stimulate egg formation. Differences in storage sites have been documented in other lepidopterans, with MtH reserves being found primarily in fat body protein granules and the ArH reserve being found primarily in the hemolymph. Similar differences could explain how a fraction of the MtH's, but not of ArH, escapes utilization during metamorphosis in a species with post-eclosion egg formation. No differences in utilization schedules were detected between V- and M-MtH, despite divergent compositions and antigenic reactivity.