Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Standard article
21 May 2012
Standard article |  | 21 May 2012

Slow and fast development in ladybirds: occurrence, effects and significance

G. Mishra and Omkar

Abstract. Developmental and growth rates are known to vary in response to genetic, developmental, physiological and environmental factors. However, developmental variations that exist within a cohort under any constant rearing condition are not so well investigated. A few such prominent polymorphisms have been studied, but not the subtle ones. The current study investigates the presence of such varying rates of development, slow and fast, in a cohort reared under constant conditions in two ladybirds, Cheilomenes sexmaculata and Propylea dissecta. Our results reveal slow and fast developers in the cohorts of each species and the ratio of slow and fast developers was similar. Slow developers showed a female biased sex ratio. The two developmental variants differed significantly in juvenile duration only in the first instar and the pupal stage, though variations in developmental time were observed in all stages. Fecundity was higher in slow developers, but developmental rates did not affect egg viability. The similar ratio in both ladybirds indicates it to be a result of either presence of a constant ratio across species or an effect of the similar rearing environment.