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Pigmentation Restored in Mutant Laboratory Strain of the Lady Beetle Coleomegilla maculata through Dietary Supplementation

Allen, Margaret Louise
Advances in Entomology 2016 v.4 no.3 pp. 133-140
Coleomegilla maculata, artificial diets, beta-carotene, color, dietary supplements, eyes, genotype-phenotype correlation, insect cuticle, insect rearing, insects, lycopene, mutants, phenotype, pigmentation, wings
A laboratory colony of Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer), ye, selected for a pigmentation deficiency, was restored to near wild type cuticle coloration by adding crushed heads and wings of the red colored parental strain to the diet. While the wings and other colored portions of the cuticle re-gained the red color, the eyes of the pigmentation deficient insects were not changed from the pale mutant form. Plant derived carotenes lycopene and beta-carotene did not restore the mutant beetles to a visibly distinguishable red color. An additional pigmentation deficient mutant strain, gold, partially recovered red cuticle color when provided with diet containing pigmented insect particles. This work represents the first rescue of a color phenotype in a lady beetle.