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Formation of Green Pigment and Colour Changes in Orthoptera

  • Salâhattin Okay (a1)


The colour change and formation of green pigment in Mantis, Acrida, Locusta, Schistocerca and Dixippus are studied.

There is no background reaction to green and brown or yellow colour in these species.Usually the young nymphs of Mantis are green; some ofthe old nymphs and adults have a tendency to lose the green pigment. Phytophagous nymphsbecome green only when fed on fresh or growing grass. Green individuals may be obtained in darkness on this food (Locusta). The green pigmentdisappears on a diet of dry grass.

The colour change from non-green to green, or vice versa, is dependent on the formation or disappearance of the blue component (bile pigment-protein) of green pigment. The blue pigment generally appears first in the blood and is deposited in the integument at the following moult; it does not appear to be a breakdown product of chlorophyll or haematin. It is probably synthesised from a colourless precursor in the peripheral fat body.

Observations made on the pericardial cells of Locusta suggest that the blue pigment may be converted into insectorubin.



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Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
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