Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (2): 289-294, 2015 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.029

Increase in dark morphs and decrease in size during a range extension of Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Yasuko KAWAKAMI1, Kazuo YAMAZAKI2, Kazunori OHASHI3
1 Osaka Museum of Natural History, Osaka 546-0034, Japan; e-mail: yasukocafius@gmail.com
2 Osaka City Institute of Public Health and Environmental Sciences, Japan; e-mail: kazuo-yamazaki@city.osaka.lg.jp
3 Honmachi, Toyonaka City, Osaka 560-0021, Japan; e-mail: oohasikznr@yahoo.co.jp

The ladybird beetle Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Fabricius) is widely distributed throughout the intermediate latitudinal and equatorial regions. It exhibits elytral colour polymorphism with a geographical cline showing increased prevalence of melanic morphs with increasing latitude. Over the past 100 years, this species has extended its distribution towards higher latitudes in Japan because of climatic warming. In this study, long-term changes in the frequency of different morphs and adult body size of this species during this range extension were analyzed based on a survey of specimens in collections. First, we examined specimens collected from areas that were colonized (34-36°N) during the period of range extension (1949-1989) and when it ceased (1990-2005). Chronologically, both the proportions of melanic morphs increased and body size decreased significantly. Next, specimens were examined from newly colonized regions and the former range of distribution (32-34°N); these specimens were collected during period when range extension had ceased. In newly colonized regions, the frequency of melanic morphs was higher and the body size was smaller than in the former range of distribution. These two findings indicate that the smaller, melanic morphs may have undergone a positive-selection driven range extension to higher latitudes.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Cheilomenes sexmaculata, chronology, colour polymorphism, ladybird, specimen

Received: June 5, 2014; Accepted: November 10, 2014; Prepublished online: January 22, 2015; Published: April 2, 2015Show citation

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KAWAKAMI, Y., YAMAZAKI, K., & OHASHI, K. (2015). Increase in dark morphs and decrease in size during a range extension of Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Eur. J. Entomol.112(2), 289-294. doi: 10.14411/eje.2015.029.
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