Abstract In normal females, distinct fluctuations in the protein content of the fat body and haemolymph are evident during each gonotrophic period. These fluctuations partly reflect changes in the protein requirements of the developing oocytes. Almost one half of the total protein deposited in the mature ovary is sequestered during the final stages of vitellogenesis when protein accumulated in the fat body and haemolymph is rapidly depleted. Although similar amounts of protein are deposited in the ovary during the first and subsequent gonotrophic periods, significantly less extraovarian protein is present throughout the latter periods. The accumulation of large amounts of protein in the fat body and haemolymph of ovariectomized females suggests that most yolk protein is of extraovarian origin. As the total protein content of these insects is comparable to that of vitellogenic females, ovariectomy apparently has no immediate effect on protein synthesis. Allatectomy or cautery of the median neurosecretory cells (mNSC) prevents vitellogenesis. Although protein gradually accumulates in the fat body and haemolymph of allatectomized females, the total protein content of these insects is significantly lower than that of controls. Treatment of allatectomized females with juvenile hormone analogue leads to a temporary but significant increase in the protein content of the fat body. However, the subsequent decline in fat body protein is paralleled by a pronounced increase in the protein content of the ovary. These findings suggest that the corpora allata (CA) stimulate both yolk protein synthesis in the fat body and its uptake into the ovary. The total protein content of mNSC-cauterized females is less than that of allatectomized females. This observation supports the proposal that the mNSC have not only an allatotropic effect but also a direct effect on protein synthesis.