Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 269–282 | Cite as

Latitudinal differences in diapause related photoperiodic responses of European Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata)

  • Philipp Lehmann
  • Anne Lyytinen
  • Saija Piiroinen
  • Leena Lindström
Original Paper


Many organisms use photoperiodic cues to assess seasonal progression and pace their phenology. As photoperiod correlates with latitude, range expansions in seasonal environments may require re-synchronization of phenology and life-history traits with novel season length. Adaptive resynchronization takes time, and hence might be one factor explaining why range expansion to higher latitudes often is slow. Studies investigating latitudinal clines in photoperiodic traits often focus on species or populations which are well established. However, studying organisms which are in the process of expanding their range can provide valuable information on the evolutionary ecological mechanisms driving the adaptive synchronization to seasonal environments. The Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a pest of potato, which rapidly has spread towards higher latitudes. We studied whether beetles from six European populations along a latitudinal axis are synchronized with their local photoperiodic environmental conditions. Variation in critical photoperiod (when 50 % of individuals make the decision to overwinter), diapause incidence, burrowing age for diapause and resurfacing behaviour were investigated by maintaining beetles under six photoperiods. The beetles showed a clear latitudinal pattern in diapause incidence and burrowing age for diapause but not in critical photoperiod. Resurfacing behaviour of burrowed beetles increased with the length of the photoperiod, which through unsynchronized overwintering behaviour could lead to high overwintering mortality. Thus, while synchronization of diapause preparation with local photoperiodic conditions can be one reason explaining the success of L. decemlineata in expanding to higher latitudes, further northward range expansion could be constrained by inherent difficulties to initiate overwintering under very long photoperiods.


Coleoptera Invasion Local adaptation Phenology Rapid adaptation Temperate species 



We thank Alessandro Grapputo, Andreas Plischke and Magdalena Szuplewska for collecting beetles and Aigi Margus, Kati Kivisaari and Joel Rahkonen for rearing beetles and data collection. Thomas Flatt, Karl Gotthard, Daniel Hahn, Hannele Kauranen, Sandra Varga, Maria Triviño, Janne Valkonen and three anonymous reviewers are thanked for helpful comments. This work was financed by The Academy of Finland: Project Numbers 250248, 263742 and 252411 (Finnish Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions Research). L. decemlineata is a quarantine species in Finland and therefore this experiment was carried out under permission (Evira 3861/541/2007).


  1. Alyokhin A (2009) Colorado potato beetle management on potatoes: current challenges and future prospects. Fruit Veg Cereal Sci Biotechnol 3:10–19Google Scholar
  2. Boman S et al (2008) Quantitative genetic approach for assessing invasiveness: geographic and genetic variation in life-history traits. Biol Invasions 10:1135–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradshaw WE, Holzapfel CM (2001) Global shift in photoperiodic response correlated with global warming. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 98:14509–14511CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradshaw WE, Holzapfel CM (2007) Evolution of animal photoperiodism. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 3:1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradshaw WE et al (2003) Circadian rhythmicity and photoperiodism in the Pitcher-Plant Mosquito: adaptive response to the photic environment or correlated response to the seasonal environment. Am Nat 161:735–748CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Casagrande RA (1987) The Colorado potato beetle: 125 years of mismanagement. Bull Entomol Soc Am 33:142–150Google Scholar
  7. Chown SL, Gaston K (1999) Exploring links between physiology and ecology at macro-scales: the role of respiratory metabolism in insects. Biol Rev 74:87–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dalin P et al (2010) Seasonal adaptations to day length in ecotypes of Diorhabda spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) inform selection of agents against saltscedars (Tamarix spp.). Environ Entomol 39:1666–1675CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Danilevskij AS (1965) Photoperiodism and seasonal development of insects. Oliver and Boyd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Danks HV (1987) Insect dormancy: an ecological perspective. Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods), Ottawa. Biological Survey of Canada Monograph Series, 1Google Scholar
  11. de Kort CAD (1990) Thirty-five years of diapause research with the Colorado potato beetle. Entomol Exp Appl 56:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Wilde J (1969) Diapause and seasonal synchronization in the adult Colorado beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say). Symp Soc Exp Biol 23:263–284PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. de Wilde J et al (1959) Physiology of diapause in the adult Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say)—I the photoperiod as a controlling factor. J Insect Physiol 3:75–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. EPPO (2006) Distribution maps of quarantine pests for Europe. Leptinotarsa decemlineata, ADASGoogle Scholar
  15. Fauvergue X et al (2012) The biology of small, introduced populations, with special reference to biological control. Evol Appl 5:424–443CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gaston K (2003) The structure and dynamics of geographic ranges. Oxford Series in Ecology and EvolutionGoogle Scholar
  17. Hodek I (1971) Sensitivity of larvae to photoperiods controlling the adult diapause of two insects. J Insect Physiol 17:205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoffmann AA, Willi Y (2008) Detecting genetic responses to environmental change. Nat Rev Genet 9:421–432CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hsiao TH (1985) Eco-physiological and genetic aspects of geographic variations of the Colorado potato beetle. Bull Mass Agric Exp Stn 704:63–77Google Scholar
  20. Ito K (2014) Intra-populational genetic variation in diapause incidence of adult-diapausing Tetranychus puerariocola (Acari: Tetranychidae). Ecol Entomol 39:186–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Johnson CG (1967) International dispersal of insects and insect-borne viruses. Eur J Plant Pathol 73:21–43Google Scholar
  22. Jönsson AM et al (2013) Modelling as a tool for analysing the temperature-dependent future of the Colorado potato beetle in Europe. Glob Change Biol 19:1043–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kauranen H et al (2013) Involvement of circadian oscillation(s) in the photoperiodic time measurement and the induction of reproductive diapause in a northern Drosophila species. J Insect Physiol 59:662–666CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kivelä SM et al (2011) Latitudinal insect body size clines revisited: a critical evaluation of the saw-tooth model. J Anim Ecol 80:1184–1195CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Knezevic SZ et al (2007) Utilizing R software package for dose-response studies: the concept and data analysis. Weed Technol 21:840–848Google Scholar
  26. Kostal V (2006) Eco-physiological phases of insect diapause. J Insect Physiol 52:113–127CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Kostal V (2011) Insect photoperiodic calendar and circadian clock: independence, cooperation, or unity? J Insect Physiol 57:538–556CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lefevere KS, de Kort CAD (1989) Adult diapause in the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata: effects of external factors on maintenance, termination and post-diapause development. Physiol Entomol 14:299–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lehmann P et al (2012) Population dependent effects of photoperiod on diapause related physiological traits in an invasive beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). J Insect Physiol 58:1146–1158CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lehmann P et al (2014a) Northward range expansion requires synchronization of both overwintering behaviour and physiology with photoperiod in the invasive Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). Oecologia 176:57–68CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Lehmann P et al (2014b) Photoperiodic effects on diapause-associated gene expression trajectories in European Leptinotarsa decemlineata populations. Insect Mol Biol 23:566–578CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Lyytinen A et al (2009) Cold tolerance during larval development: effects on the thermal distribution limits of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Entomol Exp Appl 133:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nelson RJ et al (eds) (2010) Photoperiodism, the biological calendar. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  34. Paolucci S et al (2013) Adaptive latitudinal cline of photoperiodic diapause induction in the parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis in Europe. J Evol Biol 26:705–718CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Piiroinen S et al (2010) Resting metabolic rate can vary with age independently from body mass changes in the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. J Insect Physiol 56:277–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Piiroinen S et al (2011) Energy use, diapause behaviour and northern range expansion potential in the invasive Colorado potato beetle. Funct Ecol 25:527–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roff DA (1983) Phenological adaptation in a seasonal environment: a theoretical perspective. In: Brown VK, Hodek I (eds) Diapause and life cycle strategies in insects. Dr. W. Junk Publishers, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  38. Roff DA (1992) The evolution of life histories. Chapman & Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Sadakiyo S, Ishihara M (2011) Rapid seasonal adaptation of an alien bruchid after introduction: geographic variation in life cycle synchronization and critical photoperiod for diapause induction. Entomol Exp Appl 140:69–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Saikkonen K et al (2012) Climate change-driven species’ range shifts filtered by photoperiodism. Nat Clim Change 2:239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Saunders D (2002) Insect clocks. Elsevier Science, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmidt PS et al (2005) Geographic variation in diapause incidence, life-history traits, and climatic adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolution 59:1721–1732CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Sexton JP et al (2002) Plasticity and genetic diversity may allow saltcedar to invade cold climate in North America. Ecol Appl 12:1652–1660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Solbreck C (1978) Migration, diapause, and direct development as alternative life histories in a seed bug, Neacoryphus bicruci. In: Dingle H (ed) Evolution of insect migration and diapause. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Tauber MJ et al (1986) Seasonal adaptations of insects. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Tower WL (1906) Evolution in chrysomelid beetles. Carnagie Institution, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  47. Tyukmaeva VI et al (2011) Adaptation to a seasonally varying environment: a strong latitudinal cline in reproductive diapause combined with high gene flow in Drosophila montana. Ecol Evol 1:160–168CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Urbanski J et al (2012) Rapid adaptive evolution of photoperiodic response during invasion and range expansion across a climatic gradient. Am Nat 179:490–500CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Valosaari K et al (2008) Spatial simulation model to predict the Colorado potato beetle invasion under different management strategies. Ann Zool Fennici 45:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yoshida T et al (2007) Biological invasion as a natural experiment of the evolutionary processes: introduction of the special feature. Ecol Res 22:849–854CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Lehmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anne Lyytinen
    • 1
  • Saija Piiroinen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Leena Lindström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Centre of Excellence in Biological InteractionsUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations