Both main and distal segments of the Malpighian tubules were sensitive to ouabain and furosemide but in different ways. Oubain had no effect on secretion rate by the main segment but in the secreted fluid Na(+) concentration increased substantially whereas K(+) decreased. Similarly intracellular elemental Na concentration increased and K decreased. Furosemide decreased the secretion rate of the main segment by 80%. The Na(+) concentration in the secreted fluid increased markedly but K(+) was not affected. Intracellular elemental Na concentration also increased but K was unchanged. In the distal segments both ouabain and furosemide decreased secretion rate by 40% but although ouabain had no effect on the composition of the secreted fluid, furosemide caused a substantial reduction in the concentrations of Mg(2+) and Cl(-) and a substantial increase in Na(+) and K(+) concentrations. The evidence suggests that the main segment contains a Na K ATPase and possibly a Na K 2Cl cotransporter whereas the distal segment may contain a Na K ATPase and a furosemide sensitive Mg(2+) transporter. K(+) entry into the cells of the main segment may be partially effected by a Na K 2Cl cotransporter but may be primarily via Na K ATPase in the distal segment.