Insect diapause of very variable duration: the case of the palm nut bruchid Pachymerus nucleorum (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

posted on 27.10.2015 by Forbes P. Benton


Data are provided here showing that larval diapause in the tropical palm nut bruchid Pachymerus nucleorum (Fabricius) can extend up to a maximum of about five years, although for most individuals the duration ranges from 15 to 48 months. The data were obtained for insects originating from one source only that were held under one set of temperature and photoperiod conditions only so the wide variation in duration is attributed to maternal control. Staggering the adult emergence times of a parent’s progeny can be regarded as an evolutionary strategy that increases the chance that some at least encounter favourable biotic or abiotic conditions. It is believed that extended diapause may be quite widespread amongst insects, including those of temperate climates.