Volume 74, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Using the tsetse, , we show that physiologic plasticity (resulting from temperature acclimation) accounts for among-population variation in thermal tolerance and water loss rates. Critical thermal minimum (CT) was highly variable among populations, seasons, and acclimation treatments, and the full range of variation was 9.3°C (maximum value = 3.1 × minimum). Water loss rate showed similar variation (max = 3.7 × min). In contrast, critical thermal maxima (CT) varied least among populations, seasons, and acclimation treatments, and the full range of variation was only approximately 1°C. Most of the variation among the four field populations could be accounted for by phenotypic plasticity, which in the case of CT, develops within 5 days of temperature exposure and is lost rapidly on return to the original conditions. Limited variation in CT supports bioclimatic models that suggest tsetse are likely to show range contraction with warming from climate change.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Watson RT, 2002. Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Thomas CD, Cameron A, Green RE, Bakkenes M, Beaumont LJ, Collingham YC, Erasmus BFN, de Siqueira MF, Grainger A, Hannah L, Hughes L, Huntley B, van Jaarsveld AS, Midgley GF, Miles L, Ortega-Huerta MA, Peterson AT, Phillips OL, Williams SE, 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427 : 145–148. [Google Scholar]
  3. Pearson RG, Dawson TP, 2003. Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful? Global Ecol Biogeog 12 : 361–371. [Google Scholar]
  4. Rogers DJ, Randolph SE, 1991. Mortality rates and population density of tsetse flies correlated with satellite imagery. Nature 351 : 739–741. [Google Scholar]
  5. Robinson T, Rogers D, Williams B, 1997. Univariate analysis of tsetse habitat in the common fly belt of Southern Africa using climate and remotely sensed vegetation data. Med Vet Entomol 11 : 223–234. [Google Scholar]
  6. Robinson T, Rogers D, Williams B, 1997. Mapping tsetse habitat suitability in the common fly belt of Southern Africa using multivariate analysis of climate and remotely sensed vegetation data. Med Vet Entomol 11 : 235–245. [Google Scholar]
  7. Rogers DJ, 2000. Satellites, space, time, and the African trypanosomiases. Adv Parasitol 47 : 129–171. [Google Scholar]
  8. Davis AJ, Jenkinson LS, Lawton JH, Shorrocks B, Wood S, 1998. Making mistakes when predicting shifts in species range in response to global warming. Nature 391 : 783–786. [Google Scholar]
  9. Davis MB, Shaw RG, 2001. Range shifts and adaptive responses to Quaternary climate change. Science 292 : 673–679. [Google Scholar]
  10. Helmuth B, Kingsolver JG, Carrington E, 2005. Biophysics, physiological ecology, and climate change: does mechanism matter? Ann Rev Physiol 67 : 177–201. [Google Scholar]
  11. Rogers DJ, Randolph SE, 2000. The global spread of malaria in a future, warmer world. Science 289 : 1763–1766. [Google Scholar]
  12. Kovats RS, Campbell-Lendrum DH, McMichael AJ, Woodward A, Cox J, St H, 2001. Early effects of climate change: do they include changes in vector-borne disease? Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 356 : 1057–1068. [Google Scholar]
  13. Burse BV, Mellor PS, Rogers DJ, Samuel AR, Mertens PPC, Baylis M, 2005. Climate change and the recent emergence of bluetongue in Europe. Nature Rev Microbiol 3 : 171–181. [Google Scholar]
  14. Rogers DJ, Randolph SE, Snow RW, Hay SI, 2002. Satellite imagery in the study and forecast of malaria. Nature 415 : 710–715. [Google Scholar]
  15. Leak SGA, 1999. Tsetse Biology and Ecology. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.
  16. Watson RT, Zinyowera MC, Moss RH, Dokken DJ, 1998. The Regional Impacts of Climate Change. An Assessment of Vulnerability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  17. Hulme M, 1996. Climate change in Southern Africa: An Exploration of Some Potential Impacts and Implications in the SADC Region. Norwich: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia.
  18. World Health Organization, 2004. Using Climate to Predict Disease Outbreaks. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
  19. Rogers DJ, Robinson TP, 2004. Tsetse distribution. In: Maudlin I, Holmes PH, Miles MA, eds. The Trypanosomiases. Wallingford: CABI Publishing; 139–179.
  20. Hargrove JW, 2004. Tsetse population dynamics. In: Maudlin I, Holmes PH, Miles MA, eds. The Trypanosomiases. Wallingford: CABI Publishing; 113–138.
  21. Hargrove JW, 2001. The effect of temperature and saturation deficit on mortality in populations of male Glossina m. morsitans (Diptera: Glossinidae) in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Bull Ent Res 91 : 79–86. [Google Scholar]
  22. Bursell E, 1959. The water balance of tsetse flies. Trans R Ent Soc Lond 111 : 205–235. [Google Scholar]
  23. Langley PA, Maudlin I, Leedham MP, 1984. Genetic and behavioural differences between Glossina pallidipes from Uganda and Zimbabwe. Entomol Exp Appl 35 : 55–60. [Google Scholar]
  24. Krafsur ES, 2003. Tsetse fly population genetics: an indirect approach to dispersal. Trends Parasitol 19 : 162–166. [Google Scholar]
  25. Ouma JO, Marquez JG, Krafsur ES, 2005. Macrogeographic population structure of the tsetse fly, Glossina pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae). Bull Ent Res 95 : 437–447. [Google Scholar]
  26. Williams B, Dransfield R, Brightwell R, 1992. The control of tsetse flies in relation to fly movement and trapping efficiency. J Appl Ecol 29 : 163–179. [Google Scholar]
  27. Lutterschmidt WI, Hutchison VH, 1997. The critical thermal maximum: history and critique. Can J Zool 75 : 1561–1574. [Google Scholar]
  28. Klok CJ, Sinclair BJ, Chown SL, 2004. Upper thermal tolerance and oxygen limitation in terrestrial arthropods. J Exp Biol 207 : 2361–2370. [Google Scholar]
  29. Chown SL, Nicolson SW, 2004. Insect Physiological Ecology. Mechanisms and Patterns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  30. Terblanche JS, Sinclair BJ, Klok CJ, McFarlane ML, Chown SL, 2005. The effects of acclimation on thermal tolerance, desiccation resistance and metabolic rate in Chirodica chalcoptera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). J Ins Physiol 51 : 1013–1023. [Google Scholar]
  31. Hoffmann AA, Hallas R, Anderson AR, Telonis-Scott M, 2005. Evidence for a robust sex-specific trade-off between cold resistance and starvation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. J Evol Biol 18 : 804–810. [Google Scholar]
  32. Gibbs AG, Chippindale AK, Rose MR, 1997. Physiological mechanisms of evolved desiccation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. J Exp Biol 200 : 1821–1832. [Google Scholar]
  33. Brady J, 1988. Circadian ontogeny in the tsetse fly: a permanent major phase change after the first feed. J Ins Physiol 34 : 743–749. [Google Scholar]
  34. Krafsur ES, Wohlford DL, 1999. Breeding structure of Glossina pallidipes populations evaluated by mitochondrial variation. J Hered 90 : 635–642. [Google Scholar]
  35. Terblanche JS, Klok CJ, Chown SL, 2004. Metabolic rate variation in Glossina pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae): gender, ageing and repeatability. J Ins Physiol 50 : 419–428. [Google Scholar]
  36. Gooding RH, Feldmann U, Robinson AS, 1997. Care and maintenance of tsetse colonies. In: Crampton JM, Beard CB, Louis C, eds. The Molecular Biology of Insect Disease Vectors. London: Chapman & Hall; 41–55.
  37. Sombroek WG, Braun HMH, van der Pouw BJA, 1980. Exploratory Soil Map and Agro-Climatic Zone Map of Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture, National Agricultural Laboratories.
  38. Hoffmann AA, Shirriffs J, Scott M, 2005. Relative importance of plastic vs genetic factors in adaptive differentiation: geographical variation for stress resistance in Drosophila melanogaster from eastern Australia. Funct Ecol 19 : 222–227. [Google Scholar]
  39. Gilchrist GW, Huey RB, Partridge L, 1997. Thermal sensitivity of Drosophila melanogaster: evolutionary responses of adults and eggs to laboratory natural selection at different temperatures. Physiol Zool 70 : 403–414. [Google Scholar]
  40. Chown SL, 2001. Physiological variation in insects: hierarchical levels and implications. J Ins Physiol 47 : 649–660. [Google Scholar]
  41. Addo-Bediako A, Chown SL, Gaston KJ, 2001. Revisiting water loss in insects: a large scale view. J Ins Physiol 47 : 1377–1388. [Google Scholar]
  42. Gibbs AG, Matzkin LM, 2001. Evolution of water balance in the genus Drosophila. J Exp Biol 204 : 2331–2338. [Google Scholar]
  43. Parkash R, Tyagi P, Sharma I, Rajpurohit S, 2005. Adaptations to environmental stress in altitudinal populations of two Drosophila species. Physiol Entomol 30 : 353–361. [Google Scholar]
  44. Rogers DJ, 1990. A general model for tsetse populations. Ins Sci Appl 11 : 331–346. [Google Scholar]
  45. Ayrinhac A, Debat V, Gibert P, Kister AG, Legout H, Moreteau B, Vergilino R, David JR, 2004. Cold adaptation in geographical populations of Drosophila melanogaster: phenotypic plasticity is more important than genetic variability. Funct Ecol 18 : 700–706. [Google Scholar]
  46. Zeilstra I, Fischer K, 2005. Cold tolerance in relation to developmental and adult temperature in a butterfly. Physiol Entomol 30 : 92–95. [Google Scholar]
  47. Fischer K, Eenhoorn E, Bot ANM, Brakefield PM, Zwaan BJ, 2003. Cooler butterflies lay larger eggs: developmental plasticity vs acclimation. Proc R Soc Lond Biol Sci 270 : 2051–2056. [Google Scholar]
  48. Gibert P, Huey RB, Gilchrist GW, 2001. Locomotor performance of Drosophila melanogaster: interactions among developmental and adult temperatures, age, and geography. Evolution 55 : 205–209. [Google Scholar]
  49. Sgrò CM, Partridge L, 2000. Evolutionary responses of the life history of wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster to two standard methods of laboratory culture. Am Nat 156 : 341–353. [Google Scholar]
  50. Terblanche JS, Klok CJ, Marais E, Chown SL, 2004b. Metabolic rate in the whip-spider, Damon annulatipes (Arachnida: Amblypygi). J Ins Physiol 50 : 637–645. [Google Scholar]
  51. Loeschcke V, Sorensen JG, Kristensen TN, 2004. Ecologically relevant stress resistance: from microarrays and quantitative trait loci to candidate genes - A research plan and preliminary results using Drosophila as a model organism and climatic and genetic stress as model stresses. J Biosci 29 : 503–511. [Google Scholar]
  52. Hoffmann AA, Blows MW, 1994. Species borders: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Trends Ecol Evol 9 : 223–227. [Google Scholar]
  53. Case TJ, Taper ML, 2000. Interspecific competition, environmental gradients, gene flow, and the coevolution of species’ borders. Am Nat 155 : 583–605. [Google Scholar]
  54. Forde SE, Thompson JN, Bohannan BJM, 2004. Adaptation varies through space and time in a coevolving host-parasitoid interaction. Nature 431 : 841–844. [Google Scholar]
  55. Hoffmann AA, Hallas RJ, Dean JA, Schiffer M, 2003. Low potential for climatic stress adaptation in a rainforest Drosophila species. Science 301 : 100–102. [Google Scholar]
  56. Langley PA, 1977. Physiology of tsetse flies (Glossina ssp.) (Diptera: Glossinidae): a review. Bull Ent Res 67 : 523–574. [Google Scholar]
  57. Bursell E, 1961. Post-teneral development of the thoracic musculature in tsetse flies. Proc R Ent Soc Lond A 36 : 69–74. [Google Scholar]
  58. Rogers DJ, Randolph SE, 2002. A response to the aim of eradicating tsetse from Africa. Trends Parasitol 18 : 534–536. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

Erratum for Figure 3

  • Received : 18 Oct 2005
  • Accepted : 18 Jan 2006

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error