The structure and life history of insect microbodies are described during the development of the fat body from the 4th to 5th larval molt through the 5th to pupal molt. The mature microbodies are flattened spheres about 1.1 x 0.9 µ, with a depression on one side where a dense mass connects the limiting membrane to the core of coiled tubules. They contain catalase and urate oxidase. The precise synchrony of development of insect cells during the molt/intermolt cycle makes it easy to study the life history of particular organelles. Phases of growth are correlated with the hormonal milieu. Mature 4th stage microbodies decrease in size before ecdysis to the 5th stage when they atrophy at the same time as the new 5th stage generation arises. The 5th stage microbodies form as diverticula of the RER and, grow while confronted by RER cisternae. The mature microbodies decrease in size when the fat body engages in massive larval syntheses. At the end of the 5th larval stage, the microbodies are invested by isolation membranes and destroyed before pupation. There are thus two mechanisms for microbody destruction: atrophy of the 4th stage organelles and isolation with autophagy at the end of the 5th stage.

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