Two factors are involved in the control of metamorphosis in Rhodnius: (a) The corpus allatum of the 5th-stage nymph no longer secretes the juvenile hormone (inhibitory hormone). The latent imaginal characters can thus be realized. (b) The corpus allatum in the 5th-stage nymph, particularly in the later stages of moulting, actively favours the production of imaginal characters.
The evidence suggests that this activity (b) consists, not in the secretion of a metamorphosis promoting hormone favouring adult differentiation in the tissues directly, but in the elimination of the small quantities of juvenile hormone persisting in the blood and tissues.
If we suppose that these two factors differ in relative importance in different insects we may perhaps have the basis for a theory of metamorphosis applicable to all groups of insects.
The corpus allatum of the mature adult Rhodnius again begins to secrete the juvenile hormone; and the juvenile hormone of the 4th-stage nymph will induce egg development in the adult female. It is probable that the yolk-forming hormone and the juvenile hormone are identical.
The sequence in the secretory activities of the corpus allatum, and so the number of instars, is controlled by some other centre, perhaps in the central nervous system.