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Seasonality and its physiological regulation in three neotropical insect taxa from Barro Colorado Island, Panama

  • Seiji Tanaka (a1), Henk Wolda (a2) and David L. Denlinger (a1)


Seasonal activity and environmental and hormonal regulation of development and diapause were studied in three different orders of tropical insects at Barro Colorado Island (9°N), Panama.

The seed bug, Jadera aeola, reproduces in the late dry season coincident with mass production of its food, seeds of Sapindaceae. Newly emerged adults enter diapause. Population density and food, but not photoperiod, appear to be involved in diapause regulation. Juvenile hormone analogue (JHA) stimulates sexual maturation in both sexes.

The fungus beetle, Stenotarsus rotundus, aggregates at the base of a palm tree where it remains in imaginal diapause for up to 10 months. In addition to daylength (Tanaka et al., 1987), humidity plays an important role in regulating diapause termination. Gonad and flight muscle development occur more rapidly at high humidity than at low humidity. Beetles treated with JHA initiate oocyte and flight muscle development but not testis development. 20-hydroxyecdysone has no effect on diapause termination.

Flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), when monitored with a meat-baited trap, show striking seasonal fluctuations in abundance. Yet, we found no evidence for diapause in three fly species reared in the laboratory under a range of photoperiod and temperature conditions.

L'activité àu cours de l'année et la régulation du développement et de la diapause de trois ordres d'insectes tropicaux ont été étudiées dans l'île de Barro Colorado, Panama, 9°N.

L'hemiptère Jadera aeola, se réproduit dans la dernière moitié de la saison sèche, au même temps de la production massive de sa nourriture, les fruits des Sapindaceae. Les adultes jusqu'après l'éclosion, entrent dans une diapause. La densité de la population et la présence de la nourriture, mais pas la photopériode, paraissent être impliquées dans la régulation de la diapause. Un analogue de l'hormone juvénile (JHA) stimule la maturité sexuelle des deux sexes.

Le coleoptère Stenotarsus rotundus se rassemble au base d'un palmier où l'agrégation séjourne, en diapause adulte, durant presque dix mois. A part de la photopériode (Tanaka et al., 1987), l'humidité joue un rôle important dans la régulation de la conclusion de la diapause. Le développement des gonades et des muscles du vol est plus vite dans une humidité élevée que dans une humidité basse. Les coleoptères traités avec JHA commencent le développement des oöcytes et des muscles du vol, mais pas des testes. La hydroxyecdysone n'a aucun effet sur la terminaison de la diapause.

Les mouches carnassières (Sarcophagidae), étudiées avec une piège amorcée de la foie de poule, montrent des fluctuations marquées en abondance saisonelles. Cependant, nous n'avons trouvé aucune indication d'une diapause dans les trois espèces de mouches élevées dans le laboratoire sous des conditions diverses de photopériode et de température.



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Seasonality and its physiological regulation in three neotropical insect taxa from Barro Colorado Island, Panama

  • Seiji Tanaka (a1), Henk Wolda (a2) and David L. Denlinger (a1)


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