Behavior Genetics of Flexible Life Histories in Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus)

  • Hugh Dingle
  • James F. Leslie
  • James O. Palmer


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).


Life History Genetic Correlation Life History Trait Clutch Size Wing Length 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Derr, J. A. 1980. The nature of variation in life history characters of Dysdercus bimaculatus (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae), a colonizing species. Evolution 34: 548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dingle, H. 1974. Diapause in a migrant insect, the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus (Dallas) (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae). Oecologia 17: 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dingle, H. 1978. Migration and diapause in tropical, temperate, and island milkweed bugs. In H. Dingle, ed. The Evolution of Insect Migration and Diapause. Springer-Verlag, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dingle, H. 1981. Geographical variation and behavioral flexibility in milkweed bug life histories. In R. F. Denno and H. Dingle, eds. Insect Life History Patterns: Habitat and Geographical Variation. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Dingle, H. 1982. Function of migration in the seasonal synchronization of insects. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 31: 36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dingle, H. 1984. Behavior, genes, and life histories: Complex adaptations in uncertain environments. In P. W. Price, C. N. Slobodchikoff, and W. S. Gaud, eds. New Ecology: Novel Approaches to Interactive Systems. Wiley, New York (in press).Google Scholar
  7. Dingle, H., C. K. Brown, and J. P. Hegmann. 1977. The nature of genetic variance influencing photoperiodic diapause in a migrant insect, Oncopeltus fasciatus. Amer. Natur. 111: 1047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dingle, H., B. M. Alden, N. R. Blakley, D. Kopec, and E. R. Miller. 1980a. Variation in photoperiodic response within and among species of milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus). Evolution 34: 356.Google Scholar
  9. Dingle, H., N. R. Blakley, and E. R. Miller. 1980b. Variation in body size and flight performance in milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus). Evolution 34: 371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dingle, H., W. S. Blau, C. K. Brown, and J. P. Hegmann. 1982. Population crosses and the genetic structure of milkweed bug life histories. In H. Dingle and J. P. Hegmann, eds. Evolution and Genetics of Life Histories. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Endler, J. A. 1977. Geographic Variation, Speciation, and Clines. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, K. E. 1982. The annual pattern of migration and reproduction in field populations of the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus in California. Ph.D. Thesis. University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  13. Falconer, D. S. 1977. Some results of the Edinburgh selection experiments with mice. In E. Pollack, O. Kempthorne, and T. O. Bailey, eds. Proceedings of an International Conference in Genetics. Iowa State University Press, Ames.Google Scholar
  14. Falconer, D. S. 1981. Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. 2nd ed. Longman, London and New York.Google Scholar
  15. Hegmann, J. P., and H. Dingle 1982. Phenotypic and genetic covariance structure in milkweed bug life history traits. In H. Dingle and J. P. Hegmann, eds. Evolution and Genetics of Life Histories. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Leslie, J. F., and H. Dingle 1983. A genetic basis of oviposition preference in the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae). Entomol. Exp. Appl., 34:215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Miller, E. R., and H. Dingle 1982. The effect of host plant phenology on reproduction of the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, in tropical Florida. Oecologia. 52: 97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rose, M. R., and B. Charlesworth 1981a. Genetics of life history in Drosophila melanogaster. I. Sib analysis of adult females. Genetics 97: 173.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Rose, M. R., and B. Charlesworth 1981b. Genetics of life history in Drosophila melanogaster. II. Exploratory selection experiments. Genetics 97: 187.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Safriel, U. N., and U. Ritte 1980. Criteria for the identification of potential colonizers. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 13: 287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Dingle
    • 1
  • James F. Leslie
    • 1
  • James O. Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior, Department of ZoologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

Personalised recommendations