The variation of the color intensity of the chromatophores present in the wings of Schistocerca americana was analyzed by exposing 31 specimens to thermal transitions within the range of 45 - 5 °C. The adult specimens were collected using a mini-terrarium of dimensions 40x40x30 cm. As a substrate, a layer of soil, stones, and finally a layer of grass were used along with branches of bushes and leaves; hydroponic lettuce, cabbage and the grass were used as food for the specimens. Optical microscopy of the wings of the insects was used for live observation without coverslips or contrasting substances. At 45°C, degradation of color intensity was observed in the chromatophores present in the wings. At 5°C, chromatophores intensify their color to brownish-black. This temperature was the extreme minimum that S. americana could tolerate. We found negative correlation between the temperature and the degree of darkness (R2 = 0.8038). Our results are in accordance with a previously published study in which Phaulacridium vittatum was examined, as the decrease of temperature caused darkening color change in melanin-type chromatophores. The present investigation can be considered as the first initial study of its kind for S. americana, in terms of examining the changes in the color intensity of the chromatophores present in the wings caused by thermal transition under laboratory conditions.
Cañizares, M. B., Naranjo, N., & Mátyás, B. (2019). Incidence of the thermal transition in the range of 45-5°C in chromatophores present in the wings of Schistocerca americana [version 1; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]. F1000Research, 8.