Eur. J. Entomol. 101 (1): 69-73, 2004 | 10.14411/eje.2004.015

A general model for the life cycle of Dolichopoda cave crickets (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae)

Camilla BERNARDINI, Claudio DI RUSSO
c/o Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza

A general model of the Dolichopoda cave cricket life cycle was produced using RAMAS/stage simulations based on the Beverton & Holt recruitment function. The model indicates the main population parameters responsible for life cycle adjustments to ecologically different cave habitats. The lack of a uniform rate of oviposition throughout adult life, combined with egg and nymphal diapause, results in regular population growth characterized by adults emerging every two years and cohorts overlapping every other year. This pattern is common in populations living in artificial caves where the scarcity of food is likely to favour individuals that synchronise their activity with the seasonal variations in the epigean habitat. In contrast, a uniform rate of oviposition throughout adult life and no egg or nymphal diapause results in a continuous reproductive activity, and the occurrence of adults all the year round. In this case, it was not possible to distinguish between cohorts. This pattern is well represented in populations inhabiting natural caves with stable food resources. The availability of data for a population that resulted from an experimental colonization allowed us to test this model.

Keywords: Life cycle, model, RAMAS, stage, Dolichopoda, cave crickets

Received: October 25, 2002; Accepted: October 20, 2003; Published: March 25, 2004


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