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Ontogeny of individual asymmetries in several traits of larval Chironomus riparius Meigen, 1804 (Diptera, Chironomidae)



Ontogeny of individual asymmetries in several traits of larval Chironomus riparius Meigen, 1804 (Diptera, Chironomidae)



Canadian Journal of Zoology 80(8): 1470-1479



In recent years considerable effort has been dedicated to the analysis of alterations in the morphology of individuals, mainly fluctuating asymmetry, as bioindicators of stress. However, inconsistent results and a general lack of knowledge about the processes involved in the generation and development of asymmetries have discouraged some researchers from using this tool. We present a study of the ontogeny of individual asymmetries in several traits of Chironomus riparius larvae. Development of asymmetries through consecutive instars showed no evidence of sidedness and was in accordance with a compensatory growth model, since growth of the smaller side was typically greater than growth of the larger side during one moult. Surprisingly, however, although growth was compensatory, right-left (R-L) values were size-dependent and increased throughout larval development. Once R-L values were corrected for size dependence, asymmetry levels proved to be similar in all instars except for instar I in one case. We discuss our findings in relation to the developmental patterns and regulation mechanisms described and proposed in similar studies. Specifically, the coincidence of our results with those of another study on insects may indicate the existence of similar regulatory systems throughout this group of animals.

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Accession: 003870267

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DOI: 10.1139/z02-142



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