Host plant and latitude-related diapause variation in Rhagoletis pomonella: a test for multifaceted life history adaptation on different stages of diapause development


  • Present address: H. R. Dambroski, USDA/ARS/MWA, Cereal Disease Research Unit, 1551 Lindig Street, St Paul, MN 55108, USA

Jeffrey L. Feder, Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box 369, Galvin Life Science Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0369, USA.
Tel.: (574) 631 4159; fax: (574) 631 7413;


Variation in the overwintering pupal diapause of Rhagoletis pomonella appears to adapt sympatric populations of the fly to seasonal differences in the fruiting times of their host plants, generating ecological reproductive isolation. Here, we investigate what aspects of diapause development are differentially affected (1) by comparing the propensities of apple vs. hawthorn-infesting host races of R. pomonella to forgo an initially deep diapause and directly develop into adults, and (2) by determining the chronological order that R. pomonella races and sibling species break diapause and eclose when reared under standardized environmental conditions. The results imply that factors affecting initial diapause depth (and/or differential mortality during the prewintering period) and those determining the timing of diapause termination or rates of post-diapause development are both under differential selection and are to some degree genetically uncoupled in flies. The modular nature of diapause life history adaptation in Rhagoletis suggests that phenology may involve multiple genetic changes and represent a stronger ecological barrier separating phytophagous specialists than is generally appreciated.