Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (1): 35-40, 2015 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.011

Effects of environmental factors on the regulation of egg diapause in the walking-stick insect, Ramulus irregulariterdentatus (Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae)

Hiroyuki YAMAGUCHI, Keiji NAKAMURA*
Department of Biosphere-Geosphere System Science, Faculty of Informatics, Okayama University of Science, Okayama 700-0005, Japan; e-mails: nakamura@big.ous.ac.jp; hi-ro.cb400ss-8400@docomo.ne.jp

Environmental factors that regulate egg diapause in the walking-stick insect, Ramulus irregulariterdentatus, were studied. Insects collected in fields at Okayama, Japan soon after hatching in spring were reared under constant laboratory conditions. After adult emergence, their eggs were placed outdoors or incubated under constant laboratory conditions. Most eggs kept at 15 or 20°C hatched more than 100 days after oviposition. At 25°C, however, many eggs remained in diapause throughout the experimental period although a small number hatched slightly earlier than those kept at the lower temperature. The maternal photoperiod affected the egg period at 20 and 25°C; eggs from females reared under short day conditions hatched significantly earlier. A low temperature of 10°C shortens diapause development, whereas 5°C did not have a clear effect on time to hatching. When eggs of females reared under long day conditions were placed outdoors from June to early July, most hatched the next spring. On the other hand, eggs of females reared under short day conditions hatched before winter if they were laid before mid-July. The short day eggs laid in August and September hatched successfully the following April, and there was a positive correlation between the date of oviposition and time of hatching. It is concluded that low temperatures in mid-winter do not terminate diapause development. The results revealed that both maternal regulation of diapause intensity and the rate of diapause development play an important role in maintaining a monovoltine life cycle in Ramulus irregulariterdentatus.

Keywords: Phasmatodea, Phasmatidae, walking-stick insect, Ramulus irregulariterdentatus, photoperiod, temperature, egg diapause, diapause termination

Received: August 14, 2013; Accepted: September 18, 2014; Prepublished online: October 20, 2014; Published: January 25, 2015

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