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Boundary Conditions for Drosophila Resource Utilization in Temperate Regions, Especially at Low Temperatures

P. A. Parsons
The American Naturalist
Vol. 112, No. 988 (Nov. - Dec., 1978), pp. 1063-1074
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2460348
Page Count: 12
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Boundary Conditions for Drosophila Resource Utilization in Temperate Regions, Especially at Low Temperatures
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Abstract

In contrast with the enormous variety of resources used by breeding and feeding Drosophila, the physical limitations imposed by the environment are much more uniform across the genus. There is one boundary condition in Australian temperateregion Drosophila species at about 12⚬C below which flies are inactive, do not mate, do not oviposit, and cannot be found in the wild using common Drosophila-collecting techniques. It remains to be seen to what extent this boundary condition applies across the genus for nontropical species where there are marked annual environmental cycles. In tropical species this lower boundary condition may be higher. The Australian species are from the four major subgenera of the genus, in particular Scaptodrosophila; the most direct proof is from field observations on the lek species D. polypori of subgenus Hirtodrosophila. The upper-boundary condition is more variable but is in the 20⚬-30⚬C range with humidity interactions. This condition is more restrictive in Australian Drosophila than Australian Scaptomyza, which are found under more stressful conditions.

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