Insect photoperiodism: effects of temperature on the induction of insect diapause and diverse roles for the circadian system in the photoperiodic response



This review considers the effects of temperature on insect diapause induction and the photoperiodic response, and includes constant temperature, temperature cycles, pulses and steps in daily light–dark cycles, constant darkness and in constant light, all with reference to various circadian-based “clock” models. Although it is a comparative survey, it concentrates on two species, the flesh fly Sarcophaga argyrostoma and its pupal parasite Nasonia vitripennis, which possess radically different photoperiodic mechanisms, although both are based upon the circadian system. Particular attention is given to the effects of daily thermoperiod in darkness and to low and high temperature pulses in conjunction with a daily light–dark cycle, treatments that suggest that S. argyrostoma “measures” night length with a “clock” of the external coincidence type. However, N. vitripennis responds to seasonal changes in photoperiod with an internal coincidence device involving both “dawn” and “dusk” oscillators. Other species may show properties of both external and internal coincidence. Although the precepts of external coincidence have been well formulated and supported experimentally, those for internal coincidence remain obscure.