| THE HIGH HERITABILITY ESTIMATES OF VENTRAL DARKNESS VARIATION IN PHILAENUS SPUMARIUS (HOMOPTERA: CERCOPIDAE) |
SELCUK YURTSEVER A1
A1 School of Pure & Applied Biology, College of Cardiff, University of Wales, Cardiff CF1 3TL, UK
The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius is a well-known insect because of its striking color/pattern variation on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of adults. The genetics of the dorsal color/pattern polymorphism has been widely studied. Natural populations of this homopter an have been reported to show ventral melanism associated with climatic conditions. Although at first sight certain individuals can be scored as dark and light ventrally, the pigmentation may range continuously from very dark to very light, suggesting that the variation is under polygenic control. The inheritance of ventral melanismhas been little studied. This is the first report to involve a detailed laboratoryinvestigation of ventral melanism in P. spumarius. The data, containing 568individuals, including 40 parents and 528 progeny, which were obtained from laboratory crossing experiments, revealed that ventral darkness variation inP. spumarius is heritable and is a continuous trait. Regression analysis of offspring on mid-parent for ventral darkness showed that heritability of this color variation in P. spumarius is high (h2 = 0.73 0.06, mean standard deviation, p < 0.001). It is inherited through both female (h2 = 0.90 0.11,p < 0.001) and male (h2 = 0.90 0.08, p < 0.001) parents.
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