Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (4): 577-583, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.078

The occurrence in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria (Orthoptera: Acrididae), of a short-winged morph with no obvious fitness advantages over the long-winged morph

Yudai NISHIDE, Seiji TANAKA
Locust Research Laboratory, National Institute of Agro-biological Sciences at Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan; e-mail: nishiyu0@yahoo.co.jp

A short-winged morph, whose occurrence is controlled by a simple recessive Mendelian unit, was recently discovered in Locusta migratoria. The existence of trade-offs between flight capability associated with wing length and other fitness-related traits are often documented for insects. The present study investigated the evolutionary significance of the short-winged and long-winged morphs of this locust using two laboratory strains showing wing dimorphism. The life-history traits examined included nymphal development, adult body weight, percentage adult survival, age at first reproduction, egg production and hatchling body weight. The results indicate that there are no consistent morph-specific differences in any of these traits. Of the several possibilities considered, the most likely is that the short-winged morph of this locust is an aberration or represents an initial stage in the evolution of this species.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Acrididae, Locusta migratoria, adaptive significance, trade-off, wing dimorphism

Received: April 15, 2013; Accepted: June 13, 2013; Prepublished online: October 1, 2013; Published: December 1, 2013

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