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    2017. Atlas of Invertebrate Viruses. p. 227.

    Khosravi, R Sendi, J J Brayner, F A Alves, L C and Feitosa, A P S 2016. Hemocytes of the Rose Sawfly Arge ochropus (Gmelin) (Hymenoptera: Argidae). Neotropical Entomology, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 58.

    Siddiqui, M. I. and Al-Khalifa, M. S. 2014. Review of haemocyte count, response to chemicals, phagocytosis, encapsulation and metamorphosis in insects. Italian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 81, Issue. 1, p. 2.

    Beetz, Susann Holthusen, Traute K. Koolman, Jan and Trenczek, Tina 2008. Correlation of hemocyte counts with different developmental parameters during the last larval instar of the tobacco hornworm,Manduca sexta. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, Vol. 67, Issue. 2, p. 63.

    Sanjayan, K. P. Ravikumar, T. and Albert, S. 1996. Changes in the haemocyte profile ofSpilostethus hospes (Fab) (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) in relation to eclosion, sex and mating. Journal of Biosciences, Vol. 21, Issue. 6, p. 781.

    Bombonato, Maria T. Siqueira and Gregório, Elisa A 1995. Estudo morfológico e quantitativo dos hemócitos em larvas de Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, Vol. 12, Issue. 4, p. 867.

    Baines, Danica and Downer, Roger G. H. 1994. Octopamine enhances phagocytosis in cockroach hemocytes: Involvement of inositol trisphosphate. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, Vol. 26, Issue. 4, p. 249.

    Tikku, K. Saxena, Bhaskar P. Satti, N. K. and Suri, K. A. 1992. Plumbagin-induced ultrastructural haemocytic response of Dysdercus koenigii F.. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, Vol. 13, Issue. 06, p. 787.

    Saxena, B P and Tikku, K 1990. Effect of plumbagin on haemocytes ofDysdercus koenigii F.. Proceedings: Animal Sciences, Vol. 99, Issue. 2, p. 119.

    More, N K and Sonawane, Y S 1987. Stress induced alterations in the hemocyte population ofPeriplaneta americana (L.). Proceedings: Animal Sciences, Vol. 96, Issue. 6, p. 689.

    Dannhorn, D. R. and Seitz, K. A. 1987. Hemocytes ofLeiobunum limbatum and two other species of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones): Morphological classification and functional aspects. Journal of Morphology, Vol. 193, Issue. 2, p. 185.

    Islam, A. and Roy, S. 1984. Variation in the haemocyte population during different hours of day and night in an insect, Alphitobius piceus Oliver. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, Vol. 5, Issue. 01, p. 19.

    Kaaya, G. P. and Otieno, L. H. 1981. Haemocytes of Glossina—I. Morphological classification and the pattern of change with age of the flies. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, Vol. 2, Issue. 03, p. 175.

  • Print publication year: 1979
  • Online publication date: August 2010

16 - Changes in hemocyte populations



The life of an insect may be uneventful, progressing from the immature to the adult with no trauma. On the other hand, the insect may face the trauma of injury, the lack of food, or the challenge of natural enemies. In this chapter I hope to discuss quantitative and qualitative changes in hemocyte populations during the life of an insect undergoing growth and development or exposed to injury or insult. Population changes will be determined primarily by changes in numbers (total hemocyte counts), in types of hemocytes (differential hemocyte counts), and in blood volume. Some emphasis will be placed on the wax moth, Galleria mellonella (L.) (Lepidoptera), on which much information has been obtained. In vivo studies will be emphasized.

Changes during development

Salt (1970), in his excellent review, The Cellular Defense Reactions of Insects, cautioned about the total hemocyte count (THC). He felt the THC must be used with caution because of inherent changes in the ratio of circulating to sedentary hemocytes and the changes owing to sampling procedures.


Tauber and Yeager (1935) studied the THC in Orthoptera, Odonata, Hemiptera, and Homoptera. THCs from Blatta and Periplaneta were higher in females carrying oothecae than in “normal” females. Adults of Udeopsylla and Melanoplus (crickets and grasshoppers), Plathermis (a dragonfly), and Euschistus (a stink bug) had higher cell populations than nymphs. The authors felt that a gradual increase in hemocytes occurred during development.

In Periplaneta, the variation in cell counts was great (Smith, 1938). The lowest average count was 34,000/mm3 and the highest was 158,000/mm3.

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Insect Hemocytes
  • Online ISBN: 9780511759987
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