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J Insect Physiol. 2005 Nov;51(11):1261-7. Epub 2005 Aug 31.

Photoperiodic control of diapause in Pseudopidorus fasciata (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae) based on a qualitative time measurement.

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Institute of Entomology, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, PR China.


In the zygaenid moth, Pseudopidorus fasciata, both larval diapause induction and termination are under photoperiodic control. In this study, we investigated whether photoperiodic time measurement (with a 24-h light-dark cycle) in this moth is qualitative or quantitative. Photoperiodic response curves, at 22, 25, and 28 degrees C indicated that the incidence of diapause depended on whether the scotophases exceeded the critical night length (CNL) or not. All scotophases longer than the CNL-induced diapause; all scotophases shorter than the CNL-inhibited diapause. The CNL was 10.5h at 25 and 28 degrees C, and 10h at 22 degrees C. By transferring from various short photoperiods (LD 8:16, LD 9:15, LD 10:14, LD 11:13, LD 12:12, and LD 13:11) to a long photoperiod (LD 16:8) at different times, the number of light-dark cycles required for 50% diapause induction at 25 degrees C was 7.14 at LD 8:16, 7.2 at LD 9:15, 7.19 at LD 10:14, 7.16 at LD 11:13, and 7.13 at LD 12:12, without showing a significant difference between the treatments. Only at LD 13:11 (near the CNL), the number of light-dark cycles was significantly increased to 7.64. The intensity of diapause induced under different short photoperiods (LD 8:16, LD 9:15, LD 10:14, LD 11:13, and LD 12:12) at 25 degrees C was not significantly different with an average diapause duration of 36 days. The duration of diapause induced under LD 13:11 was significantly reduced to 32 days. All results indicate that the night-lengths are measured as either "long" or "short" compared with some critical value and suggest that photoperiodic time measurement for diapause induction in this moth is based on a qualitative principle.

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