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Differentiation in life cycle of sympatric populations of two forms of Hyphantria moth in central Missouri


Makio Takeda, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, Nada-ku, Kobe, 657-8501 Japan. Email:


Wing patterns of Hyphantria adult male moths collected in central Missouri were examined throughout the breeding season. Three major peaks of adult flight were observed: the first peak consisted mainly of adults with spotted wings, while the second and third peaks consisted of immaculate adults. Black-headed larvae appeared in the field following the first major peak of moth flight, and red-headed larvae appeared in the field following the second peak. Sympatric red-headed and black-headed forms were collected in the field and subsequently reared on an artificial diet under conditions of 16 h light : 8 h dark (LD 16:8) at 25°C. The larval period of the black-headed form was shorter than the red-headed, whereas the pupal period of the black-headed form was longer than the red-headed. Pupal development is retarded in some individuals at high temperatures in the black-headed form. Photoperiodic response curves for pupal diapause were different between the two forms. The critical photoperiod for pupal diapause was 15 h 10 min in the red-headed form, which was longer than that for the black-headed form (14 h 40 min). The two forms responded to shifts in photoperiod differently. These developmental responses temporally separate the two forms in the field; the red-headed and black-headed forms represent a set of adaptations favoring univoltinism and bivoltinism, respectively. Red-headed larvae fed mainly at night, while the black-headed larvae fed without a clear day–night rhythm. Nocturnal feeding in the red-headed form is adaptive to protection against predation, but fails to fully utilize heat units and thus to produce a second generation.