Corpus allatum

In insect physiology and anatomy, the corpus allatum (plural: corpora allata) is an endocrine gland that generates juvenile hormone; as such, it plays a crucial role in metamorphosis. Surgical removal of the corpora allata (an allatectomy) can cause an immature larva to pupate at its next molt, resulting in a miniature adult.[1] Similarly, transplantation of corpora allata from a young larva to a fully mature larva can greatly extend the larval stage, resulting in an equivalent to gigantism.[2]

In many Diptera species, the corpus allatum is fused with the corpus cardiacum, forming a "ring gland", also known as Weismann's ring.[3]

In Lepidoptera species, the corpus allatum acts as a release site for prothoracicotropic hormone which is generated by the brain.[4]


  1. ^ Vitamins and Hormones: v. 14: Advances in Research and Applications, edited by Richard Harris, 1956, from Elsevier
  2. ^ Insect Hormones Archived 2010-01-03 at the Wayback Machine at John W. Kimball's
  3. ^ THE HOMOLOGIES OF THE RING GLAND OF DIPTERA BRACHYCERA, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 36, Number 1, March 1943, pp. 1-10, by M.F. Day
  4. ^ Insect Hormones, page 13, by H. Fredrik Nijhout, 1994, Princeton University Press