Insect intestinal mucins (McIIM2-4) expressed in the midgut of feeding, starved and moulting Mamestra configurata larvae were identified. McIIM2 and McIIM4 were associated with the peritrophic matrix (PM). PMs from feeding and starved larvae were translucent and contained organized chitin bundles perpendicular to their long axis, whereas PM from moulting larvae consisted of an inner opaque mass surrounded by an outer translucent sleeve. Serine protease genes (McSP1, McSP2, McSP25 and McSP29) were also expressed in these larvae and several serine proteases were associated with the PM. Serine protease activity was also detected in the midgut of feeding, starved and moulting larvae.