, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 170–177

Are development and growth of pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, in North America adapted to local temperatures?


  • R. J. Lamb
    • Agriculture Canada Research Station
  • P. A. MacKay
    • Department of EntomologyUniversity of Manitoba
  • G. H. Gerber
    • Agriculture Canada Research Station
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00379263

Cite this article as:
Lamb, R.J., MacKay, P.A. & Gerber, G.H. Oecologia (1987) 72: 170. doi:10.1007/BF00379263


Developmental rate and adult weight were studied at constant temperatures from 9.8 to 27.9°C for 18 clones from each of five populations of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), from locations between 39 and 53°N latitude in central North America. The response of developmental rate to temperature for each clone was accurately described by a three parameter non-linear equation. Adult weight usually decreased with increasing rearing temperature, but the shape of the response to temperature varied among clones. Variation in the developmental parameters was greater among clones within populations than among populations. No consistent trends were observed in the developmental parameters or adult weights either with latitude or the long term average temperatures at the locations. We conclude that previously reported geographic variation in the developmental threshold of this species, which was attributed to local adaptation, occurred either because the clones tested were not representative of the populations or because rearing methods differed among studies. The results are discussed in relation to the hypothesis that life history traits which are temperature sensitive are adapted to local thermal environments.

Key words

Developmental rate Adult weight Adaptation Temperature Acyrthosiphon pisum

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987