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Effects of polymorphic melanism and larval diet on life history traits of Malacosoma disstria moths


Effects of polymorphic melanism and larval diet on life history traits of Malacosoma disstria moths

Ethier, Jessica and Despland, Emma (2011) Effects of polymorphic melanism and larval diet on life history traits of Malacosoma disstria moths. Journal of Insect Physiology . ISSN 00221910 (In Press)

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Despland_Ethier_JInsPhysiol_2011.pdf - Accepted Version

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.09.018


In this study we investigated the presence and possible genetic basis of polymorphic melanism in the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) moth. Adult moths were classified into pattern-based phenotypes and wing darkness was measured to quantify the degree of melanization. We found that two distinct phenotypes, melanic and simple, are present in these moths. Although the full melanic phenotype is sex-limited to males, it is partially expressed in females. We also provide support for the theory that the melanic allele is autosomal and dominant. The effects of larval diet quality on the survival, development and wing melanization of each phenotype were studied by rearing larvae on the foliage of either a primary or secondary host. Diet quality did not differentially affect the two phenotypes; however, melanic males were found to be smaller than simple males regardless of larval diet. Such inherent developmental differences between the two phenotypes could have important consequences for the frequencies of the two morphs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Ethier, Jessica and Despland, Emma
Journal or Publication:Journal of Insect Physiology
Date:30 September 2011
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.09.018
Keywords:Melanism; Colour polymorphism; Wing pattern; Lepidoptera; Development; Forest tent caterpillar
ID Code:36036
Deposited On:25 Oct 2011 17:28
Last Modified:05 Nov 2016 01:44


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