Because leucokinins stimulate diuresis in some insects, we wished to identify the neurosecretory cells in Manduca sexta that might be a source of leucokinin-like neurohormones. Immunostaining was done at various stages of development, using an antiserum to leucokinin IV. Bilateral pairs of neurosecretory cells in abdominal ganglia 3-7 of larvae and adults are immunoreactive; these cells project via the ipsilateral ventral nerves to the neurohemal transverse nerves. The immunoreactivity and size of these lateral cells greatly increases in the pharate adult, and this change appears to be related to a period of intensive diuresis occurring a few days before adult eclosion. Relationships of these neurons to cells that are immunoreactive to a M. sexta diuretic hormone were also investigated. Diuretic hormone and leucokinin immunoreactivity are co-localized in the lateral neurosecretory cells and their neurohemal projections. A median pair of leucokinin-immunoreactive, and a lateral pair of diuretic hormone-immunoreactive neurons in the larval terminal abdominal ganglion project to neurohemal release sites within the cryptonephridium. The immunoreactivity of these cells is lost as the cryptonephridium is eliminated during metamorphosis. This loss appears to be related to the change from the larval to adult pattern of diuresis.