Many species show rhythmicity in activity, from the timing of flowering in plants to that of foraging behavior in animals. The free-running periods and amplitude (sometimes called strength or power) of circadian rhythms are often used as indicators of biological clocks. Many reports have shown that these traits are highly geographically variable, and interestingly, they often show latitudinal or longitudinal clines. In many cases, the higher the latitude is, the longer the free-running circadian period (i.e., period of rhythm) in insects and plants. However, reports of positive correlations between latitude or longitude and circadian rhythm traits, including free-running periods, the power of the rhythm and locomotor activity, are limited to certain taxonomic groups. Therefore, we collected a cosmopolitan stored-product pest species, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, in various parts of Japan and examined its rhythm traits, including the power and period of the rhythm, which were calculated from locomotor activity. The analysis revealed that the power was significantly lower for beetles collected in northern areas than southern areas in Japan. However, it is worth noting that the period of circadian rhythm did not show any clines; specifically, it did not vary among the sampling sites, despite the very large sample size (n = 1585). We discuss why these cline trends were observed in T. castaneum.
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