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On Heredity of Two Forms of Albinism and On the Fitness of Albinos in the Turkish Desert Woodlouse Hemilepistus Elongatus Budde-Lund, 1885 (Isopoda, Oniscidea)

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Two forms of albinism and one form of partial albinism were found in Hemilepistus elongatus. Both forms of albinism are caused by recessive alleles each at a single, unlinked locus. Wild-types grew faster than albinos during the first 30 days of life, whereas the probability of surviving this interval was almost identical. This form of albinism can be used for determining paternity in polyandrously mated females. Females of both colour morphs showed no significant differences concerning the variable "clutch size/dry weight". In a long-term experiment both morphs survived in a mixed population. The results are discussed in the light of advantages and disadvantages of albinism in various habitats.

Affiliations: 1: Lehrstuhl für Tierökologie und Tropenbiologie, Theodor-Boveri-Institut, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany


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