Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 343–351 | Cite as

Maladaptive photoperiodic response in an invasive alien insect, Milionia basalis pryeri (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), in southern Kyushu, Japan

  • Yoshinori ShintaniEmail author
  • Yoshikazu Kato
  • Takeo Saito
  • Yuji Oda
  • Misato Terao
  • Keisuke Nagamine
Original Research Paper


The geometrid moth, Milionia basalis pryeri Druce, is an important pest of Podocarpaceae trees that has recently become established in the southern part of the main island of Kyushu, Japan. The species exhibits a multivoltine seasonal life cycle, with adults emerging mostly from spring to autumn, and occasionally being observed in winter. In this study, life-history traits and overwintering success were examined for a population collected in southern Kyushu. A long-day photoperiodic response was shown in larval and pupal development, with larvae and pupae developing significantly more slowly under short-day conditions than under long-day conditions. The critical photophases for this response were 12–13 h/day at 20 °C and 10–12 h/day at 25 °C. In the field, only individuals that pupated at a particular time in autumn remained in the pupal stage during winter, but all of them failed to eclose normally to adults, although some of them attained the wing pigmentation stage in winter to spring. This maladaptive seasonality in M. basalis pryeri in southern Kyushu is attributed to inconsistency between the climate of the new habitat and the innate ability of M. basalis pryeri to respond to seasonal cues, and is considered to be an ecological cost of a range-expanding insect.


Invasive alien species Seasonal adaptation Life-history traits Photoperiodic response Overwintering success Milionia basalis pryeri 



This study was supported in part by the Furusato Shinko Fund from Miyazaki Bank in 2010, and by grants from Minami Kyushu University in 2010 and 2011 to Y.S.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshinori Shintani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yoshikazu Kato
    • 1
  • Takeo Saito
    • 1
  • Yuji Oda
    • 1
  • Misato Terao
    • 1
  • Keisuke Nagamine
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Entomology, Department of Environmental and Horticultural SciencesMinami Kyushu UniversityMiyakonojoJapan

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