Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (4): 585-590, 2008 | 10.14411/eje.2008.078

Light-induced behavioural effects on the locomotor activity rhythm of the blow fly, Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

David S. SAUNDERS1, Bronislaw CYMBOROWSKI*,2
1 Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh, UK
2 Department of Animal Physiology, University of Warsaw, Poland; e-mail: bron@biol.uw.edu.pl

Under continuous light (LL) of low intensity (up to 2.0 lux), the free-running period of the blow fly activity rhythm lengthened for flies whose initial τDD was less than about 25 h, but shortened for longer-period flies. Light intensity above about 2.0 lux led to an overt behavioural arrhythmicity. A comparison of phases of the oscillation after LL as a function of phases before LL, however, indicated that the oscillation continued its motion even though overt behaviour was arrhythmic. As the intensity during LL increased to 48 lux, phases after LL became centred on a narrow range close to CT 12. Extended periods of brighter light are considered to have two effects: (a) an exogenous "masking" effect occurring at intensities greater than about 2.0 lux, and (b) at intensities between about 2.0 and 48 lux, a gradual resetting of the covert oscillator to CT 12. Between 2.0 and 48 lux, therefore, the circadian oscillation governing locomotor activity in C. vicina continues its motion despite the superficial arrhythmicity in behaviour.

Keywords: Circadian, blow fly, locomotor activity, continuous light

Received: January 30, 2008; Accepted: April 9, 2008; Published: October 24, 2008

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