A peptide that inhibits egg development in mosquitoes (oostatic factor) has been purified from the ovaries of female Aedes aegypti. The factor is a decapeptide with a molecular mass of 1047.6. The primary sequence has been determined as NH2-Tyr-Asp-Pro-Ala-Pro-Pro-Pro-Pro-Pro-Pro-COOH from mass spectra recorded on a quadrupole Fourier transform instrument. The amino acid sequence exhibits sequence correlation to mammalian, plant, and several viral proteins. Injection of synthetic analogs into mosquitoes, biting midges, flies, and fleas inhibited proteolytic enzyme biosynthesis in the midgut. Binding studies with [3H]oostatic factor indicated that the midgut epithelial cells have a factor-specific receptor.