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Volume :12 Issue : 2 1985      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Biological clocks in desert beetles (Tenebrionidae), with special reference to Erodius octocostatus Peyerimhof in Kuwait

Auther : J. L. CLOUDSLEY-THOMPSON AND C. CONSTANTINOU

Department of Zoology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street,

London, WCI E 7HX, England

ABSTRACT

 

E. octocostatus, a common tenebrionid beetle of the Kuwait desert, exhibits a circadian rhythm of locomotory activity in aktograph apparatus at 25°C. The rhythm free-runs in constant light with a period of about 24h 50min, and is synchronized by the onset of darkness. Although crepuscular, with most of the activity taking place at the beginning and end of the light period, the circadian rhythm is physiologically more akin to that of a nocturnal than of a day-active animal. Rhythm splitting in constant light probably reflects the interactions of cellular oscillators. Rhythms of locomotory activity in desert Tenebrionidae are reviewed. Although E. octocostatus is the first crepuscular species to have been investigated with an aktograph, field observations suggest that crepuscular activity is by no means uncommon and. in many species, the time for locomotory activity is affected by temperature or season.

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