An interval timer controls the production of sexual morphs in Myzus persicae (Homoptera : Aphididae)
The interval timer mechanism was examined in two clones of Myzus persicae (Sulzer) originating from peach in Naousa, North Greece. Overwintering eggs were collected in April 1997 and after egg hatch the morphs of progeny were recorded at LD 10: 14 h and 17 degreesC until the appearance of sexuals. In one clone, observations were continued until the 21st generation after egg hatch. In addition, the production of sexual morphs was examined in two other clones originating from Lehonia, Central Greece, when apterae (wingless females) were transferred from long to short days and 17 degreesC in the second and eighth generation of parthenogenetic rearing after their collection from peach trees. In clones from Naousa, the first gynoparae appear and comprise 10% of alate (winged) females in the second half of the third generation after egg hatch. The percentage of gynoparae increased in each consecutive generation, reaching 100% in fifth and seventh generations in clones Nb and Na, respectively. First males appeared later than gynoparae, in fifth and sixth generation in clones Nb and Na, respectively. In clone Nb, the number of males, after their appearance in fifth generation, was relatively constant from the sixth to the ninth generation (10.8-12.3). Then a significant increase was observed in the 10th generation, thereafter remaining relatively constant until the 21st generation (18.1-19.8). A similar trend in the number of males produced was observed in clones deriving from Lehonia.