Diapause regulation in newly invaded environments: termination timing allows matching novel climatic constraints in the box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).
The association between indirect environmental cues that modulate insect diapause and the actual stressors is by no means granted when a species encounters new environments. The box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis, is an Asian pest whose rapid invasion in Europe causes considerable economic and ecological impacts. Larvae enter a winter diapause induced by the photoperiod in both native and invaded ranges, but factors that trigger the return to an active phase are still unknown. Yet, identifying them is crucial to understand how diapause end synchronizes with the end of the winter stress encountered in Europe. To test whether activity resumption is regulated by thermal and/or photoperiodic thresholds, or additive effects between these factors often involved in diapause termination, diapausing caterpillars from an invaded area were exposed to crossed treatments at the laboratory. The evolution of diapause rate was monitored over time and compared to that of nearby field sites invaded. A strong positive effect of increasing temperature was found on the rate and dynamics of diapause termination, whereas no compelling effect of photoperiod appeared. Resuming development directly when main stressors fade, not in response to indirect photoperiodic cues that could be mismatched outside native areas, likely contributes to the good match observed between diapause and the new climates that this pest encountered in the invaded range.