Behavior Genetics of Flexible Life Histories in Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
Insects often face uncertain or unpredictable environments and must make appropriate adjustments in their life histories. Adaptations to predictable environments are well-known, and there is an extensive literature on the use of photoperiod, the most reliable seasonal cue, to time diapause, migration, reproduction and related responses. The difficulty comes when photoperiod (or any other cue) is unreliable. Under such conditions, the best strategy for an organism is to remain flexible, and the most obvious way to do so is via behavior, in particular those behaviors such as migration and diapause that allow choices of where and when to breed. Behavior can thus be an important element of a life history “strategy” (Dingle 1982, 1984).
KeywordsLife History Genetic Correlation Life History Trait Clutch Size Wing Length
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