Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (2): 231-234, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.031

Variation in the colour of the necrophagous fly, Prochyliza nigrimana (Diptera: Piophilidae): A case of seasonal polymorphism

Daniel MARTÍN-VEGA, Arturo BAZ
Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, University of Alcalá, E-28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain;

The occurrence of colour polymorphism in wild populations of the necrophagous fly Prochyliza nigrimana (Diptera: Piophilidae) is recorded but never treated in detail. The present paper shows that there is a seasonal distribution in the morphotypes, with the dark morphs emerging in spring and pale morphs emerging later and most abundant in summer. Furthermore, different proportions of each morph occur along altitudinal gradients, with dark morphs significantly more abundant at low altitudes, where mean temperatures are warmer than at high altitudes where the pale coloured morphs were more abundant. Explanations based on the adaptive value of thermal melanism are discussed.

Keywords: Melanism, seasonal polymorphism, Piophilidae, Prochyliza nigrimana

Received: August 2, 2010; Accepted: October 1, 2010; Published: April 5, 2011

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