Tanning of Grasshopper Eggs by an Exocrine Secretion

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Science  01 Apr 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3718, pp. 95-97
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3718.95


Eggs of the grasshopper, Romalea microptera, are laid in a tightcluster, encased within a matrix of hardened froth. When first laid, the eggs are yellow and soft, and the froth is white and lathery. During subsequent hours, eggs and froth undergo a tanning process, as a result of which they harden and darken. An exocrine secretion, supplied by a pair of glands situated beside the gonopore, is mixed with the froth as the eggs are laid, and serves to promote tanning. Similar glands are found in some, but not all grasshoppers.