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Article

Super Cooling Point Phenotypes and Cold Resistance in Hyles euphorbiae Hawk Moths from Different Climate Zones

1
Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Königsbrücker Landstrasse 159, D-01109 Dresden, Germany
2
Säulingstraße 30, D-86163 Augsburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luc Legal
Diversity 2021, 13(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050207
Received: 9 April 2021 / Revised: 7 May 2021 / Accepted: 8 May 2021 / Published: 13 May 2021
The spurge hawkmoth Hyles euphorbiae L. (Sphingidae) comprises a remarkable species complex with still not fully resolved taxonomy. Its extensive natural distribution range covers diverse climatic zones. This predestinates particular populations to cope with different local seasonally unfavorable environmental conditions. The ability of the pupae to overcome outer frosty conditions is well known. However, the differences between two main ecotypes (‘euphorbiae’ and ‘tithymali’) in terms of the inherent degree of frost tolerance, its corresponding survival strategy, and underlying mechanism have not been studied in detail so far. The main aim of our study was to test the phenotypic exhibition of pupae (as the relevant life cycle stadia to outlast unfavorable conditions) in response to combined effects of exogenous stimuli, such as daylight length and cooling regime. Namely, we tested the turnout of subitan (with fast development, unadapted to unfavorable conditions) or diapause (paused development, adapted to unfavorable external influences and increased resistance) pupae under different conditions, as well as their mortality, and we measured the super cooling point (SCP) of whole pupae (in vivo) and pupal hemolymph (in vitro) as phenotypic indicators of cold acclimation. Our results show higher cold sensitivity in ‘tithymali’ populations, exhibiting rather opportunistic and short-termed cold hardiness, while ‘euphorbiae’ produces a phenotype of seasonal cold-hardy diapause pupae under a combined effect of short daylight length and continuous cold treatment. Further differences include the variability in duration and mortality of diapause pupae. This suggests different pre-adaptations to seasonal environmental conditions in each ecotype and may indicate a state of incipient speciation within the H. euphorbiae complex. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hyles euphorbiae complex; spurge hawkmoth; sphingidae; invertebrate physiology; insect cold tolerance; cold acclimation; supercooling; ecotype; pupa phenotype; functional adaptation; molecular ecology Hyles euphorbiae complex; spurge hawkmoth; sphingidae; invertebrate physiology; insect cold tolerance; cold acclimation; supercooling; ecotype; pupa phenotype; functional adaptation; molecular ecology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Daneck, H.; Barth, M.B.; Geck, M.; Hundsdoerfer, A.K. Super Cooling Point Phenotypes and Cold Resistance in Hyles euphorbiae Hawk Moths from Different Climate Zones. Diversity 2021, 13, 207. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050207

AMA Style

Daneck H, Barth MB, Geck M, Hundsdoerfer AK. Super Cooling Point Phenotypes and Cold Resistance in Hyles euphorbiae Hawk Moths from Different Climate Zones. Diversity. 2021; 13(5):207. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050207

Chicago/Turabian Style

Daneck, Hana, Matthias B. Barth, Martin Geck, and Anna K. Hundsdoerfer. 2021. "Super Cooling Point Phenotypes and Cold Resistance in Hyles euphorbiae Hawk Moths from Different Climate Zones" Diversity 13, no. 5: 207. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050207

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