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Journal Article

Supercooling of the Saguaro Species Drosophila Nigrospiracula in the Sonoran Desert

Charles H. Lowe, William B. Heed and E. Annette Halpern
Vol. 48, No. 6 (Nov., 1967), pp. 984-985
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Ecological Society of America
DOI: 10.2307/1934547
Stable URL:
Page Count: 2

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Topics: Drosophila, Supercooling, Cactus, Low temperature, Species, Freezing, Lethal dose 50, Breeding
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Winter-active February adults (vicinity Tuscon, Arizona) were observed to be supercooled during freezing nights in their desert habitat, with 24-hr minimum extremes reaching @O5.1@?C, and to become active (flying) a few minutes after the warming following sunrise. The LD"5"0 for experimental supercooling of the population sampled was @O7.73@?C, the LD"1"0"0 between @O9@? and @O10@?C, and the LD"0 between @O5@? and @O6@?C. The ability to survive winter nocturnal temperature extremes in the supercooled state makes it possible for the species to be surface active and breeding throughout the winter over the geographical distribution of its primary host plant, the saguaro (Cereus giganteus), in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

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