The biosynthesis of insect juvenile hormone (JH) and its neuroendocrine control are attractive targets for chemical control of insect pests and vectors of disease. To facilitate the molecular study of JH biosynthesis, we analyzed ESTs from the glands producing JH, the corpora allata (CA) in the cockroach Diploptera punctata, an insect long used as a physiological model species and compared them with ESTs from the CA of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Anopheles albimanus. The predicted genes were analyzed according to their probable functions with the Gene Ontology classification, and compared to Drosophila and Anopheles gambiae genes. A large number of reciprocal matches in the cDNA libraries of cockroach and mosquito CA were found. These matches defined known and suspected enzymes of the JH biosynthetic pathway, but also several proteins associated with signal transduction that might play a role in the modulation of JH synthesis by neuropeptides. The identification in both cockroach and mosquito CA of homologs of the small ligand binding proteins from insects, Takeout/JH binding protein and retinol-binding protein highlights a hitherto unsuspected complexity of metabolite trafficking, perhaps JH precursor trafficking, in these endocrine glands. Furthermore, many reciprocal matches for genes of unknown function may provide a fertile ground for an in-depth study of allatal-specific cell physiology. ESTs are deposited in GenBank under the accession numbers DV 017592-DV 018447 (Diploptera punctata); DR 746432-DV 747949 (Aedes aegypti); and DR 747950-DR 748310 (Anopheles albimanus).