Seasonal dynamics of developmental stability and variability of morphological traits was examined in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster in order to compare these two parameters as indicators of temperature stress. Morphometric (thorax length and wing length) and meristic (number of sternopelural and orbital bristles) were studied. Variability was measured as the coefficient of variation. Stability of development was estimated as fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of bilateral traits. Thorax length and wing length did not exhibit consistent seasonal trends whereas wing loading significantly decreased. Significant seasonal changes in FA were not detected in any trait examined. Two traits showed reduced variation in autumn. The use of FA as an indicator of ecological stresses in insects is discussed on the basis of these results and the literature evidence.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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