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Phase-specific developmental and reproductive strategies in the desert locust

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2008

K. Maeno
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Insect Life Cycles and Physiology, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences at Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
S. Tanaka
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Insect Life Cycles and Physiology, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences at Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Locusts modify developmental and reproductive traits over successive generations depending on the population density. A trade-off between developmental rate and body size and between progeny size and number is often observed in organisms. In this study, we present evidence that this rule is evaded by desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria Forskål, which often undergo outbreaks. Under isolated conditions, large hatchlings, typical of the gregarious forms, grow faster but emerge as larger adults than do small hatchlings typical of the solitarious forms, except for some individuals of the latter group that undergo extra molting. Under crowded conditions, large and small hatchlings grow at a similar rate, but the former become larger adults than the latter. Small hatchlings show a trade-off between development time and body size at maturation, but this constraint is avoided by large hatchlings. Phase-specific, as well as body size–dependent, differences are also detected in reproductive performance. As adult body size increases, females of a solitarious line produce more but slightly smaller eggs, whereas those of a gregarious line produce more and larger eggs. Total egg mass per pod is larger in gregarious forms than in solitarious forms. A trade-off between egg size and number is shown by a solitarious line but not by a gregarious line that produces relatively large eggs with similar numbers of eggs per pod. These results suggest that phase transformation involves not just a shift of resource allocation but also an enhanced capability expressed in response to crowding.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press

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