Previous work



Thermal melanism at two-spot ladybirds

January 1991 - July 1991
The two-spot ladybirds beetles (Adalia bipunctata) is a highly polymorphic species. Two distinct groups can be distinguished. Melanic morphs are basically black with two to four red spots while non-melanic red morphs have mostly two black spots. The morphs have different distribution patterns. These distribution patterns correlate with levels of sunshine. The aim of the research was to develop a experimental setup for investigate this relation between the color of the ladybird and the effect of sunlight intensity and air temperature on the activity of the animals.

The experimental setup was used in a successive research, and those results are published in:

  • Jong, PW de, Gussekloo, SWS and Brakefield, PM (1996) Differences in thermal balance, body temperature and activity between non-melanic and melanic two-spot ladybird beetles (Adalia bipunctata) under controlled conditions. Journal of Experimental Biology 199: 2655-2666.
Institute for Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences , Section Evolutionary Biology .
Supervisiors: Peter W. de Jong and and Paul M. Brakefield .