Anagasta kuehniella is a polyphagous pest that feeds on a wide variety of stored products. The possible roles suggested for seed proteinase inhibitors include the function as a part of the plant defensive system against pest via inhibition of their proteolytic enzymes. In this study, a trypsin inhibitor (ApTI) was purified from Adenanthera pavonina seed and was tested for insect growth regulatory effect. The chronic ingestion of ApTI did result in a significant reduction in larval survival and weight. Larval and pupal developmental time of larvae fed on ApTI diet at 1% was significantly longer; the larval period was extended by 5 days and pupal period was 10 days longer, therefore delaying by up to 20 days and resulting in a prolonged period of development from larva to adult. As a result, the ApTI diet emergence rate was only 28% while the emergence rate of control larvae was 80%. The percentage of surviving adults (%S) decreased to 62%. The fourth instar larvae reared on a diet containing 1% ApTI showed a decrease in tryptic activity of gut and that no novel proteolytic form resistant to ApTI was induced. In addition, the tryptic activity in ApTI -fed larvae was sensitive to ApTI. These results suggest that ApTI have a potential antimetabolic effect when ingested by A. kuehniella. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.