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Morph-specific fitness throughout the life cycle of the grain aphid, nonhost-alternating, holocyclic Sitobion avenae (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 August 2023
Aphids exhibit seasonally alternating asexual and sexual reproductive modes. Different morphs are produced throughout the life cycle. To evaluate morph-specific fitness during reproductive switching, holocyclic Sitobion avenae were induced continuously under short light conditions, and development and reproduction were compared in each morph. Seven morphs, including apterous and alate virginoparae, apterous and alate sexuparae, oviparae, males, and fundatrices, were produced during the life cycle. The greatest proportions of sexuparae, oviparae, males, and virginoparae were in the G1, G2, G3, and G4 generations, respectively. Regardless of asexual or sexual morphs, alate morphs exhibited a marked delay in age at maturity compared with that of apterous morphs. Among the alate morphs, males had the longest age at maturity, followed by sexuparae and virginoparae. Among the apterous morphs, sexuparae were older at maturity than the fundatrices, virginoparae, and oviparae. The nymphs of each morph had equal survival potentials. For the same wing morphs, apterous sexuparae and oviparae exhibited substantial delays in the pre-reproductive period and considerable reductions in fecundity, compared with those of apterous virginoparae and fundatrices, whereas alate sexuparae and alate virginoparae had similar fecundity. The seven morphs exhibited Deevey I survivorship throughout the life cycle. These results suggest that sexual production, particularly in males, has short-term development and reproduction costs. The coexistence of sexual and asexual morphs in sexuparae offspring may be regarded as an adaptive strategy for limiting the risk of low fitness in winter.
- Research Paper
- Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press
These authors have contributed equally to this work.