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Polyphenism in Insects (Essay Sample)


Module 7
By the completion of this activity you will be able to:
Describe basic biological concepts and theories about polyphenism, i.e., how the environment influences animal development, using two different animal models.
Complete activity one.


Polyphenism in Insects
Course Title:
Polyphenism in Insects
Polyphenism occurs in insects such as Lepidoptera e.g. butterflies and moths, Coleoptera e.g. beetles and others. Through polyphenism, insects are able use the same genome to go through life history stages and adopt phenotypes that preeminently suit expected environmental changes (Simpson, Sword & Lo, 2011). Examples of such environmental factors are change of desert surroundings after unexpected rain and degradation of surroundings due to overcrowding.
Butterflies are examples of the insects exhibiting polyphenism whereby during wet seasons they develop a sequence of dominant marginal eyespots below the surface of their hind wings. During dry season phenotype these spots are much reduce making the butterfly brown in color, less active and properly reduced (Simpson, Sword & Lo, 2011). Whether the phenotypes will develop in wet or dry seasons is determined by temperature experienced in larvae stage. Temperature is a continuous environmental cue commonly ...
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