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Tuberculatus quercicola (Matsumura) feeds on Quercus dentata Thunberg, and exhibits mutualistic interactions with ants. Tuberculatus quercicola has two winged morphs in its life cycle, winged females appear in summer and sexual males appear in autumn. Previous studies have shown that winged females exhibit higher wing loading (ratio of body volume to wing area) due to ant attendance, resulting in extremely low dispersal rates. It is known that the nutritional quality of host plants is high in spring and autumn, when leaves are growing or senescent, and low in summer when leaves are mature. This present study examined the effects of seasonal plant deterioration on the development of flight apparatus (wing size and flight muscle) of winged females and males. Moreover, field intercept traps were used to examine the extent of dispersal by males. The results showed that seasonal plant deterioration affected flight apparatus development in winged females, particularly flight muscle. Flight muscle development was significantly higher in winged males in autumn than in winged females. However, winged males were not caught in any of the traps. The different resource allocation to the flight apparatus between winged females and males is discussed.
- Applied entomology and zoology
Applied entomology and zoology 47(2), 143-148, 2012-05-00