, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 57–68 | Cite as

Population cytogenetics of Atractomorpha similis

I. C-band variation
  • Bernard John
  • Max King


Atractomorpha similis (2 n=19 ♂, 20 ♀) is a hygrophilous, tropical to temperate, species of pyrgomorphine grasshopper. We have sampled 70 populations covering the known distributional range of this species within Australia. All of them proved to be polymorphic for heterochromatin content as revealed by C-band analysis of embryonic neuroblasts. This polymorphism affects all ten members of the basic haploid set and includes variants involving differences in either the presence or the amount of procentric, interstitial and terminal C-blocks, as well as variation in the occurrence and nature of short arms on otherwise telocentric chromosomes. A majority of these variants appear to result from heterochromatin addition since the presumptive sibling, Atractomorpha australis, like other species of the genus that have been C-banded, is generally depauperate in heterochromatin. The net result of this extraordinary polymorphism is that each chromosome of A. similis exists in 10–50 distinct morphs. Consequently, there is a high level of chromosomal heterozygosity in all populations in terms of the number of heterozygous pairs present within a complement and an even higher level in terms of the total range of karyomorph patterns. There is also a wide range of total heterochromatin content, as measured by the percent of the total chromosome area occupied by C-band material, with values ranging from 13% to 44%. Specific marker chromosomes which predominate in particular geographical areas serve to distinguish six major cytotypes within A. similis. The two most southerly of these cytotypes show a narrower range of heterochromatin content but with higher values which reflect the more general occurrence of substantial terminal C-blocks within them. Finally, the populations from Fraser Island constitute a particularly distinctive cytotype characterised by the least number of morphs, the lowest level of chromosomal heterozygosity and a restricted range of heterochromatin content confined to the lower end of the known distributional spectrum.


Distributional Range Restricted Range Marker Chromosome Total Range Distributional Spectrum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard John
    • 1
  • Max King
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population Biology, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberra CityAustralia

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