Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 159, Issue 1, pp 123–142 | Cite as

Geographical variation in circadian eclosion rhythm and photoperiodic adult diapause inDrosophila littoralis

  • Pekka Lankinen


The time measuring system ofDrosophila littoralis strains originating between 40–70° N was found to be highly variable and latitude dependent. The critical daylength for photoperiodic adult diapause varied from 12 h or no diapause response in the south to 20 h in north. The median timing of pupal eclosion rhythm varied correspondingly from 21 h to 12 h from lights off in LD 3∶21, and the period of free-running rhythm of eclosion from 24 h to 19 h. The phase of the free-running rhythm was also variable, and correlated with the phase of the entrained rhythm. Latitudinal variation in the entrained rhythm of eclosion and in diapause is adaptive, leading to eclosion early in the morning and to overwintering at the adult stage. In some strains with a late phase of eclosion, strong transient cycles were seen following the transition from LL to DD. A total damping of the free-running eclosion rhythm within 2–7 days was common to all strains. This damping was more pronounced in the northern strains. The phase and period of eclosion rhythms were statistically independent. Diapause was not correlated with any parameters of the eclosion rhythm in the analysis. Diapause may still be influenced by the period of the eclosion rhythm, even though its minor contribution may be masked by a more variable, eclosion rhythm independent system in the determination of diapause.


Median Timing Late Phase Geographical Variation Adult Stage Minor Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations, symbols and terms


Light/dark; as in LD 3∶21 meaning a cycle of 3 h light∶21 h darkness


Continuous light


Continuous darkness


Period of a Zeitgeber cycle


Natural period of eclosion rhythm in constant conditions


Phase of the free-running rhythm of eclosion


Amplitude of the free-running rhythm of eclosion; possible range is from 4.17% (no rhythmicity) to 20% (the daily eclosion peaks 2–6 within 5 h each)


Persistence of the free-running rhythm of eclosion; the number of daily eclosion peaks where the mean for five highest hourly percentages still exceed 6%


A phase shift, expressed in h; a re-setting of a rhythm; either as an advance shift (i.e. earlier= +Δφ), or as a delay shift (i.e. later = −Δφ)


Phase-response curve


Phase of entrained rhythm of eclosion; e.g.ψLD 3∶21 is the median hour of eclosion peak from ‘lights off’ at LD 3∶21


Amplitude of the entrained rhythm of eclosion; the smaller SDecl the higher the amplitude


Photoperiodic response curve; proportion of females in diapause displayed as a function of daylength


Critical photoperiod; the photoperiod in the 24 h LD cycle at which 50% of the population studied diapauses


Accuracy of diapause response of a strain; the smaller the SDdiap the more accurate the response


The main locus controlling CDL inD. littoralis


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pekka Lankinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of OuluOulu 57Finland

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