Yellow-winged grasshoppers (Gastrimargus musicus) were captured in the field to examine the morphology and amine immunohistochemistry of their salivary glands. Fifty-eight grasshoppers were collected, with only five being males. Eight of 53 female grasshoppers had food in their crop, and the salivary glands of those insects were significantly heavier than those of grasshoppers without food in their crops. The salivary gland of the yellow-winged grasshopper was an acinar-type gland, similar to gland descriptions for other Orthoptera. The primary secretory part of acini of each gland is composed of zymogen and parietal cells. Staining patterns indicated that serotonin and dopamine could act as neurotransmitters and/or neurohormones to stimulate the glands. The pattern of staining of serotonin in the salivary gland suggested that serotonin stimulates both zymogen and parietal cells. Only the parietal cells were positively stained with dopamine. Comparing staining of glands of grasshoppers with food in their crop with the glands of grasshoppers with empty crops suggested a reduction in staining for serotonin in the latter. The differential staining pattern suggests that these amines have different roles in the salivary gland of G. musicus. The lack of difference in structure but increased mass with feeding suggests that all glands were active, but that secretion was actively occurring only in animals with the heavier glands.
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