Browsing by Subject "melanization"

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  • Rosa, Elena; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2020)
    Cold developmental conditions can greatly affect adult life history of ectotherms in seasonal habitats. Such effects are mostly negative, but sometimes adaptive. Here, we tested how cold conditions experienced during pupal development affect adult wing melanization of an insect ectotherm, the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia. We also assessed how in turn previous cold exposure and increased melanization can shape adult behaviour and fitness, by monitoring individuals in a seminatural set-up. We found that, despite pupal cold exposure inducing more melanization, wing melanization was not linked to adult thermoregulation preceding flight, under the conditions tested. Conversely, wing vibrating behaviour had a major role in producing heat preceding flight. Moreover, more melanized individuals were more mobile across the experimental set-up. This may be caused by a direct impact of melanization on flight ability or a more indirect impact of coloration on behaviours such as mate search strategies and/or eagerness to disperse to more suitable mating habitats. We also found that more melanized individuals of both sexes had reduced mating success and produced fewer offspring, which suggests a clear fitness cost of melanization. Whether the reduced mating success is dictated by impaired mate search behaviour, reduced physical condition leading to a lower dominance status or weakened visual signalling remains unknown. In conclusion, while there was no clear role of melanization in providing a thermal advantage under our seminatural conditions, we found a fitness cost of being more melanized, which potentially impacted adult space use behaviour. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
  • A., Galarza Juan; Dhaygude, Kishor; Behnaz, Ghaedi; Kaisa, Suisto; Janne, Valkonen; Johanna, Mappes (2019)
    Insect metamorphosis is one of the most recognized processes delimiting transitions between phenotypes. It has been traditionally postulated as an adaptive process decoupling traits between life stages, allowing evolutionary independence of pre- and post-metamorphic phenotypes. However, the degree of autonomy between these life stages varies depending on the species and has not been studied in detail over multiple traits simultaneously. Here, we reared full-sib larvae of the warningly coloured wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) in different temperatures and examined their responses for phenotypic (melanization change, number of moults), gene expression (RNA-seq and qPCR of candidate genes for melanization and flight performance) and life-histories traits (pupal weight, and larval and pupal ages). In the emerging adults, we examined their phenotypes (melanization and size) and compared them at three condition proxies: heat absorption (ability to engage flight), flight metabolism (ability to sustain flight) and overall flight performance. We found that some larval responses, as evidenced by gene expression and change in melanization, did not have an effect on the adult (i.e. size and wing melanization), whereas other adult traits such as heat absorption, body melanization and flight performance were found to be impacted by rearing temperature. Adults reared at high temperature showed higher resting metabolic rate, lower body melanization, faster heating rate, lower body temperature at take-off and inferior flight performance than cold-reared adults. Thus our results did not unambiguously support the environment-matching hypothesis. Our results illustrate the importance of assessing multiple traits across life stages as these may only be partly decoupled by metamorphosis. This article is part of the theme issue 'The evolution of complete metamorphosis'.
  • Almeida, Diana Abondano; Mappes, Johanna; Gordon, Swanne (2021)
    Predator-induced plasticity in life-history and antipredator traits during the larval period has been extensively studied in organisms with complex life-histories. However, it is unclear whether different levels of predation could induce warning signals in aposematic organisms. Here, we investigated whether predator-simulated handling affects warning coloration and life-history traits in the aposematic wood tiger moth larva, Arctia plantaginis. As juveniles, a larger orange patch on an otherwise black body signifies a more efficient warning signal against predators but this comes at the costs of conspicuousness and thermoregulation. Given this, one would expect that an increase in predation risk would induce flexible expression of the orange patch. Prior research in this system points to plastic effects being important as a response to environmental changes for life history traits, but we had yet to assess whether this was the case for predation risk, a key driver of this species evolution. Using a full-sib rearing design, in which individuals were reared in the presence and absence of a non-lethal simulated bird attack, we evaluated flexible responses of warning signal size (number of orange segments), growth, molting events, and development time in wood tiger moths. All measured traits except development time showed a significant response to predation. Larvae from the predation treatment developed a more melanized warning signal (smaller orange patch), reached a smaller body size, and molted more often. Our results suggest plasticity is indeed important in aposematic organisms, but in this case may be complicated by the trade-off between costly pigmentation and other life-history traits.