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J Insect Physiol. 2005 Dec;51(12):1352-8. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Effect of temperature on the termination of prolonged larval diapause in the chestnut weevil Curculio sikkimensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

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  • 1Laboratory of Entomology, Department of Plant Protection, National Institute of Fruit Tree Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Adults of the chestnut weevil Curculio sikkimensis emerged over a 3-year period under laboratory and quasi-field conditions due to a prolonged diapause that occurred at the mature larval stage. Variable proportions of the larvae remained in diapause after a single cold (5 degrees C) treatment of 120 days. Extension of the chilling period to as long as 540 days did not increase the percentage of diapause termination, and excessively long chilling actually reduced the percentage. Chilling was not indispensable to the termination of larval diapause. Diapause intensity was very high and variable, and more than 1000 days at 20 degrees C was necessary to reactivate all diapause larvae. When the diapause larvae were exposed to cycles of low (5 degrees C for 120 days) and high (20 degrees C for 240 days) temperatures, the percentage of diapause termination reached 100% after two or three such cycles. Thus, the prolonged diapause of C. sikkimensis has characteristics similar to the common short winter diapause in other insects, but has unique characteristics that ensure polymodal reactivation over several years.

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