Freeze tolerance: comparing two geographically isolated populations of the cinnabar moth Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/fb494982t

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  • Freezing to death in winter is a danger faced by ectothermic organisms throughout temperate climates. One adaptation of lepidopteran insects for overwinter survival is the sequestration of antifreeze solutes in the hemolymph prior to pupal diapause. This acts to depress freezing points during the long and immobile pupal stage during winter. We measured freezing (“supercooling”) points of two geographically isolated populations (valley versus mountain) of the cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) to test if mountain populations have evolved lower freezing points than valley populations. The hypothesized differences between the two populations are due to rapid (<30 generations) adaptive evolution following the insect’s recent colonization of the harsher mountain climate.
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