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Keywords:

  • Juvenile hormone;
  • kinoprene;
  • aphid polymorphism;
  • Aphis fabae;
  • Megoura viciae

ABSTRACT. Topical application of a juvenile hormone (JH1) and the JH mimic, kinoprene, to short-day, ovipara-producers of Megoura viciae usually leads to the production of oviparous/viviparous intermediate forms in the progeny sequence, in place of the expected sexual females (oviparae). The ovaries of these abnormal forms may contain embryos rather than the haploid yolky eggs of oviparae; ‘mixed’ ovaries containing both haploid eggs and embryos are also observed. The intermediates range in form from winged (alate) to wingless (apterous). The fully alate individuals usually contain only parthenogenetic ovaries but differ from the naturally occurring alate viviparae in that they are invariably infertile, have fewer antennal sense organs and often bear pheromone releasing glands on the metathoracic tibiae. The hormonally induced production of normal viviparae is difficult in this species but has been achieved by rearing short-day aphids on kinoprene-treated bean plants.

In Aphis fabae similar oviparous/viviparous teratomorphs have been reported and, in addition, single JH1 treatments were shown to induce normal viviparae at the end of the progeny sequence. Multiple applications, beginning prenatally and continuing through the postnatal development of the gynopara (winged ovipara-producer), showed that the numbers of viviparae born were related to the earliness of the treatment and to the dosage. The results are compared with the effect of a switch in photoperiod and discussed in relation to the endocrine control of aphid polymorphism.