Login | Register

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)

[thumbnail of Despland_Ethier_JInsPhysiol_2011.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
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 By: Danielle Dennie
Deposited On:25 Oct 2011 17:28
Last Modified:02 May 2019 20:18


Allegret, 1964 P. Allegret, Interrelationship of larval development, metamorphosis and age in a pyralid lepidopteran, Galleria mellonella (L), under the influence of dietetic factors. Experimental Gerontology, 1 (1964), pp. 49–66.

Angelo and Slansky, 1984 M.J. Angelo and F. Slansky, Body building by insects: trade-offs in resource allocation with particular reference to migratory species. Florida Entomologist, 67 (1984), pp. 22–41.

Bear et al., 2010 A. Bear, A. Simons, E. Westerman and A. Monteiro, The genetic, morphological, and physiological characterization of a dark larval cuticle mutation in the butterfly, Bicyclus anynana. PLoS ONE, 5 (2010), p. e11563.

Beck and Kitching, 2007 J. Beck and I.J. Kitching, Correlates of range size and dispersal ability: a comparative analysis of sphingid moths from the Indo-Australian tropics. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 16 (2007), pp. 341–349.

Beldade and Brakefield, 2002 P. Beldade and P.M. Brakefield, The genetics and evo-devo of butterfly wing patterns. Nature Reviews Genetics, 3 (2002), pp. 442–452.

Berry, 1990 R.J. Berry, Industrial melanism and peppered moths (Biston betularia (L.)). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 39 (1990), pp. 301–322.

Blarzino et al., 1999 C. Blarzino, L. Mosca, C. Foppoli, R. Coccia, C.D. Marco and M.A. Rosei, Lipoxygenase/H2O2-catalyzed oxidation of dihydroxyindoles: synthesis of melanin pigments and study of their antioxidant properties. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 26 (1999), pp. 446–453.

Boggs and Freeman, 2005 C.L. Boggs and K.D. Freeman, Larval food limitation in butterflies: effects on adult resource allocation and fitness. Oecologia, 144 (2005), pp. 353–361.

Colasurdo et al., 2009 N. Colasurdo, Y. Gélinas and E. Despland, Larval nutrition affects life history traits in a capital breeding moth. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212 (2009), pp. 1794–1800.

Cook, 2003 L.M. Cook, The rise and fall of the Carbonaria form of the peppered moth. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 78 (2003), pp. 399–417.

Cook et al., 2002 L.M. Cook, A.M. Riley and I.P. Woiwod, Melanic frequencies in three species of moths in post industrial Britain. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 75 (2002), pp. 475–482.

Curran-Everett, 2008 D. Curran-Everett, Explorations in statistics: standard deviations and standard errors. Advances in Physiology Education, 32 (2008), pp. 203–208.

Davis et al., 2005 A.K. Davis, B.D. Farrey and S. Altizer, Variation in thermally induced melanism in monarch butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) from three North American populations. Journal of Thermal Biology, 30 (2005), pp. 410–421.

Eakley and Houde, 2004 A.L. Eakley and A.E. Houde, Possible role of female discrimination against ‘redundant’ males in the evolution of colour pattern polymorphism in guppies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 271 (2004), pp. S299–S301.

Fitzgerald, 1995 T.D. Fitzgerald, The Tent Caterpillars, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York (1995).

Futahashi et al., 2008 R. Futahashi, J. Sato, Y. Meng, S. Okamoto, T. Daimon, K. Yamamoto, Y. Suetsugu, J. Narukawa, H. Takahashi, Y. Banno, S. Katsuma, T. Shimada, K. Mita and H. Fujiwara, Yellow and ebony are the responsible genes for the larval color mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori. Genetics, 180 (2008), pp. 1995–2005.

Goulson and Cory, 1995 D. Goulson and J.S. Cory, Responses of Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to crowding: interactions with disease resistance, colour phase and growth. Oecologia, 104 (1995), pp. 416–423.

Grant, 1999 B.S. Grant, Fine Tuning the Peppered Moth Paradigm. Evolution, 53 (1999), pp. 980–984.

Grisdale, 1985 D. Grisdale, Malacosoma disstria, P. Singh, R.F. Moore, Editors , Handbook of insect rearing, Elsevier, Amsterdam (1985), pp. 369–379.

Gunn and Gatehouse, 1986 A. Gunn and A.G. Gatehouse, The effect of adult feeding on lipid and protein reserves in African armyworm, Spodoptera exempta, moths before and during reproduction. Physiological Entomology, 11 (1986), pp. 423–431.

Gunn and Gatehouse, 1993 A. Gunn and A.G. Gatehouse, The migration syndrome in the African armyworm moth, Spodoptera exempta: allocation of resources to flight and reproduction. Physiological Entomology, 18 (1993), pp. 149–159.

Hodson, 1941 A.C. Hodson, An ecological study of the forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria Hbn., in Northern Minnesota. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin, 148 (1941), pp. 1–55.

Holloway et al., 1997 G.J. Holloway, C.G. Marriott and H.J. Crocker, Phenotypic plasticity in hoverflies: the relationship between colour pattern and season in Episyrphus balteatus and other Syrphidae. Ecological Entomology, 22 (1997), pp. 425–432.

Kettlewell, 1973 B. Kettlewell, The evolution of melanism. The study of a recurring necessity; with special reference to industrial melanism in lepidoptera, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1973).

Lees, 1971 D.R. Lees, The distribution of melanism in the pale brindled beauty moth, Phigalia pedaria, in Great Britain, E.R. Creed, Editor, Ecological Genetics and Evolution, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1971), pp. 152–174.

Lees, 1974 D.R. Lees, Genetic control of the melanic forms of the moth Phigalia pilosaria (pedaria). Heredity, 33 (1974), pp. 145–150.

Lorimer, 1979 N. Lorimer, The genetics of melanism in Malacosoma disstria Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). Genetics, 92 (1979), pp. 555–561.

Majerus, 1981 M.E.N. Majerus, The inheritance and maintenance of the melanic form nigrescens of Pachycnemia hippocastanaria (Lepidoptera: Ennominae). Ecological Entomology, 6 (1981), pp. 417–422.

Majerus, 1998 M.E.N. Majerus, Melanism: evolution in action, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1998).

Marden, 2000 J.H. Marden, Variability in the size, composition, and function of insect flight muscles. Annual Review of Physiology, 62 (2000), pp. 157–178.

McKinnon and Pierotti, 2010 J.S. McKinnon and M.E.R. Pierotti, Colour polymorphism and correlated characters: genetic mechanisms and evolution. Molecular Ecology, 19 (2010), pp. 5101–5125.

Mikkola and Rantala, 2010 K. Mikkola and M.J. Rantala, Immune defence, a possible nonvisual selective factor behind the industrial melanism of moths (Lepidoptera). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 99 (2010), pp. 831–838.

Muhamad et al., 1994 O. Muhamad, R. Tsukuda, Y. Oki, K. Fujisaki and F. Nakasuji, Influences of wild crucifers on life history traits and flight ability of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Researches on Population Ecology, 36 (1994), pp. 53–56.

Nijhout, 1985 H.F. Nijhout, The developmental physiology of colour patterns in lepidoptera, M.J. Berridge, J.E. Treherne, V.B. Wigglesworth, Editors , Advances in Insect Physiology, Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Florida (1985), pp. 181–247.

Ohsaki, 1995 N. Ohsaki, Preferential predation of female butterflies and the evolution of batesian mimicry. Nature, 378 (1995), pp. 173–175.

Orr et al., 1994 D.B. Orr, L.C. Lewis and J.J. Obrycki, Modification of herbivore and parasitoid behavior over three trophic levels by the entomopathogen Nosema pyrausta (Microsporida: Nosematidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 87 (1994), pp. 440–447.

Owen, 1962 D.F. Owen, The evolution of melanism in six species of North American geometrid moths. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 55 (1962), pp. 695–703.
Parry and Goyer, 2004 D. Parry and R.A. Goyer, Variation in the suitability of host tree species for geographically discrete populations of forest tent caterpillar. Environmental Entomology, 33 (2004), pp. 1477–1487.

Parry et al., 2001 D. Parry, R.A. Goyer and G.J. Lenhard, Macrogeographic clines in fecundity, reproductive allocation, and offspring size of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria. Ecological Entomology, 26 (2001), pp. 281–291.

Punzalan et al., 2008a D. Punzalan, M. Cooray, F.H. Rodd and L. Rowe, Condition dependence of sexually dimorphic colouration and longevity in the ambush bug Phymata americana. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21 (2008), pp. 1297–1306.

Punzalan et al., 2008b D. Punzalan, F.H. Rodd and L. Rowe, Sexual selection mediated by the thermoregulatory effects of male colour pattern in the ambush bug Phymata americana. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275 (2008), pp. 483–492.

Rasband, 1997 Rasband, W.S. (1997-2011). ImageJ, U. S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, http://imagej.nih.gov/ij/.

Robertson and Robertson, 2008 J.M. Robertson and A.D. Robertson, Spatial and temporal patterns of phenotypic variation in a Neotropical frog. Journal of Biogeography, 35 (2008), pp. 830–843.

Sargent, 1985 T.D. Sargent, Melanism in Phigaliatitea (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in Southern New England: A response to forest disturbance?. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 93 (1985), pp. 1113–1120.

Schowalter, 1986 T.D. Schowalter, Herbivory in forested ecosystems. Annual Review of Entomology, 31 (1986), pp. 177–196.

Shirai, 1993 Y. Shirai, Factors influencing flight ability of male adults of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, with special reference to temperature conditions during the larval stage. Applied Entomology and Zoology, 28 (1993), pp. 291–301.

Stehr and Cook, 1968 F.W. Stehr and E.F. Cook, A revision of the genus malacosoma Hübner in North America (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae): Systematics, biology, immatures, and parasites, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington (1968).

Stoehr, 2006 A.M. Stoehr, Costly melanin ornaments: the importance of taxon?. Functional Ecology, 20 (2006), pp. 276–281.

Talloen et al., 2004 W. Talloen, H. Van Dyck and L. Lens, The cost of melanization: Butterfly wing coloration under environmental stress. Evolution, 58 (2004), pp. 360–366.

West, 1977 D.A. West, Melanism in Biston (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in the rural central Appalachians. Heredity, 39 (1977), pp. 75–81.

White, 1984 T.C.R. White, The abundance of invertebrate herbivores in relation to the availability of nitrogen in stressed food plants. Oecologia, 63 (1984), pp. 90–105.

Wilson et al., 2001 K. Wilson, S.C. Cotter, A.F. Reeson and J.K. Pell, Melanism and disease resistance in insects. Ecology Letters, 4 (2001), pp. 637–649.

Youssef, 1974 N.N. Youssef, Biology and pathogenicity of the microsporidian Perezia hyperae sp. n., a pathogen of the alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 24 (1974), pp. 282–292.

Zvereva et al., 2002 E.L. Zvereva, M.V. Kozlov and O.Y. Kruglova, Colour polymorphism in relation to population dynamics of the leaf beetle, Chrysomela lapponica. Evolutionary Ecology, 16 (2002), pp. 523–539
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top