1. 1.

    4th stage larvae of A. taeniorhynchus reared in sulphate-enriched sea water drink the medium at the same rate that they do when reared in sulphate-free sea water. They absorb into the haemolymph most of the water and nearly all of the sulphate from the ingested fluid.

  2. 2.

    Larvae are able to keep the concentration of sulphate in the haemolymph at levels well below that of the medium, even when this contains as much as 89 mM sulphate.

  3. 3.

    The Malpighian tubules of larvae reared in sulphate-containing waters soon develop an ability to transport sulphate. The rate of sulphate transport induced varies directly with the sulphate content of the water in which they are reared. This ability is not retained into the adult stage.

  4. 4.

    The rate of fluid secretion by isolated Malpighian tubules is increased by up to 20 times when they are exposed to saline containing 1.5 mM cyclic AMP or concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine higher than 10−6

  5. 5.

    Tubules isolated from unfed insects into stimulant-free saline secrete fluid only slowly, but similarly treated tubules from feeding insects initially secrete fluid very much faster.

  6. 6.

    Extracts of the brain and of the thoracic ganglia stimulate Malpighian tubules to secrete fluid at a high rate. The brain is about four times as rich a source of stimulant as is the chain of thoracic ganglia. Treatment of the surface of the structures in the head with K-rich saline leads to the release of a factor which stimulates fluid secretion by the Malpighian tubules.

  7. 7.

    The results suggest that the Malpighian tubules in larvae of A. taeniorhynchus are under the control of a diuretic hormone which is elaborated in the brain and possibly also in the thoracic ganglia and which reaches high levels in the circulating haemolymph of feeding animals.

  8. 8.

    The rate of sulphate transport by isolated Malpighian tubules is strongly affected by the rate of fluid secretion. This behaviour is compatible with a passive leak of transported sulphate from the lumen back into the haemolymph through the permeable wall of the tubule.

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