• Anthomyiidae;
  • circadian oscillator;
  • coupling strength;
  • Diptera;
  • eclosion rhythmicity;
  • temperature step


To elucidate the effects of light on thermoperiodic regulation of adult eclosion rhythm in the onion fly, Delia antiqua, the responses to two thermoperiods, 29°C (12 h):21°C (12 h) and 25.5°C (12 h):24.5°C (12 h), with different amplitude and same average temperature, were examined in continuous darkness (DD) and continuous light (LL). Irrespective of the temperature step between warm phase (W) and cool phase (C), temperature cycles effectively entrained the adult eclosion rhythm in both DD and LL. Eclosion peaks, however, varied with light conditions and temperature step between W and C. It advanced by approximately 2–3 h in DD than in LL and at smaller temperature step. Background light conditions and temperature step also affect the amplitude of eclosion rhythm. It became lower in LL than in DD and at smaller temperature steps. On transfer to constant temperature (25°C), eclosion rhythm was elicited earliest in the pupae at 8°C temperature step in DD and latest in those at 1°C temperature step in LL. Pupae at 1°C temperature step in DD and at 8°C temperature step in LL demonstrated intermediate responses, but the eclosion rhythm was elicited 1 day earlier in the former than in the latter. This might be ascribed to the interaction between background light and temperature step under thermoperiodic conditions. The results suggest that continuous light and a smaller temperature step weaken the coupling strength between eclosion rhythm and thermoperiod, but the light effect is stronger than the temperature step effect.