Category Archives: Development

Regulating Growth and Development

Insects have evolved specialized structures by variation on a theme. Not only can gene manipulations and mutations produce a leg on the head of an insect in place of an antenna, but an antenna can grow in place of a … Continue reading

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Altered Regeneration

For over 100 years the derivation of insect antennae from the ancestral leg has been known. In 1914, Schmidt-Jensen studied regeneration in the stick insect and reported that sometimes after the molt, a leg appeared where an antenna should appear. … Continue reading

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An Inside Look At Insect Mating

Advances in visualization techniques now allow us to image the inside of living organisms.  A group of scientists* made CT scans of mating Drosophila and were able to observe previously unknown changes that occur in the female reproductive tract during … Continue reading

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Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Eyespots

Many caterpillars have eyespots and other markings that adapt a caterpillar to its environment.  How is the shape and location of the eyespots determined?  The process involves gene regulation.  The Silkworm, Bombyx mori, has many color pattern mutations available for … Continue reading

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Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Silkworm Sex Determination

Insects have a variety of systems for determining male and female. Some like the Drosophila Fly, Drosophila melanogaster, have an XY system similar to humans: Females have two copies of an X chromosome (XX), Males have one X and one … Continue reading

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1, 2, 3 Knickkopf

Molecular tools help us understand insect biology. Recently, it was found that a protein, Knickkopf, is responsible for preserving the new cuticle from degradation during molting. Further study* has identified two additional genes in the Knk (Knickkopf) gene family. Three … Continue reading

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Wing Development in Lepidoptera

Wings in insects with complete metamorphosis develop internally from clusters of undifferentiated cells called imaginal disks. The disks start to divide and differentiate during the feeding and non-feeding stages of the last larval instars. It is possible to remove the … Continue reading

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