Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 April 2019
The phenological behaviours of temperate insects can be highly controlled by photoperiod. Some foundational studies of the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Hopkins) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), documented a diurnal emergence rhythm that was asynchronous with maximum daily temperatures in the field and persisted under constant temperature and light conditions. In the 1970s, researchers hypothesised that this emergence rhythm was regulated by an endogenous circadian mechanism. Reflecting upon these historical data, we consider that a diurnal pattern of D. ponderosae emergence may result from photoperiodic entrainment of the circadian clock during the immature stages. Mechanistically, we suggest that the long-wavelength-sensitive opsin that we previously found to be expressed across D. ponderosae life stages could mediate, from beneath the bark, the input of light–dark cycle cues that are usually required for entrainment of the insect circadian clock.
Present address: Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Forest Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia, 3041 – 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Subject editor: Therese Poland