Heritability of wing size and shape of the rice and corn strains of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) represents a pest of economic importance in all Western Hemisphere. This polyphagous species has diverged into two populations that have been mainly recognized with various mitochondrial and nuclear molecular markers and named "the rice" and "the corn" strains. In Colombia, both strains have evolved prezygotic and postzygotic isolation. They differ in tolerance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab endotoxins) and the insecticides lambda-cyhalothrin and methomyl. In 2014, a wing morphometric analysis made in 159 individuals from a colony showed that both strains significantly differ in wing shape. The species also exhibits sexual dimorphism in the rice strain as in females wing size is larger than in males. Here, we continued this work with another wing morphometric approach in laboratory-reared strains to calculate wing size and shape heritabilities using a full-sib design and in wild populations to determine if this method distinguishes these strains. Our results show that male heritabilities of both traits were higher than female ones. Wild populations were significantly different in wing shape and size. These results suggest that wing morphometrics can be used as an alternative method to molecular markers to differentiate adults from laboratory-reared populations and wild populations of this pest, particularly in males of this species. Finally, QST values obtained for wing size and shape further demonstrated that both strains are genetically differentiated in nature.