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Ecophysiological attributes of adult overwintering in insects: insights from a field study of the nut weevil, Curculio nucum

Abstract : Diapausing insect species have evolved a great diversity of life cycles, although overwintering occurs at a single development stage within most species. Understanding why diapause has evolved towards a given life stage requires investigation of both the ecological and physiological attributes. Notably, it is suggested that adult overwintering is more energy-demanding than larval overwintering but it brings fitness gains by allowing adults to be synchronized with their seasonal requisites through an early spring emergence. This hypothesis is tested in field conditions in the nut weevil Curculio nucum , whose life cycle comprises an obligate 2-year, nonfeeding underground phase, including a larval, followed by an adult, overwintering. In this species, adult wintering leads to an early spring emergence; at first glance, however, this does not enhance synchronization between weevils and their host because adults emerge more than 1 month before starting to breed. It is suggested that adult overwintering ultimately evolved in response to the phenology of the host, by allowing females to oviposit in nuts before their full sclerotinization. Adult overwintering appears to be costly because adults postpone reproduction for 1 year, incur a significant weight loss and require feeding before egg laying. Surprisingly, lipids are unaffected during diapause, lipogenesis even being likely in the summer metamorphosis. These results suggest that the lipids involved in egg production may entirely come from the larval stages, whereas the other nutrients are acquired through adult feeding but this remains to be tested.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00358549
Contributor : Dominique Lidoreau <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 4:33:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:06 PM

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Marie-Claude Bel-Venner, Nathalie Mondy, Florent Arthaud, Julien Marandet, David Giron, et al.. Ecophysiological attributes of adult overwintering in insects: insights from a field study of the nut weevil, Curculio nucum. Physiological Entomology, Wiley, 2009, 34, pp.61-70. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-3032.2008.00652.x⟩. ⟨hal-00358549⟩

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