Pterostichus nigrita undergoes a gonad dormancy which is overcome by the sequence of short-day/long-day in females and by short-day in males. Experiments with abnormal photoperiods showed that only photoperiods of 24 h and their multiples in whole numbers allowed the processes of gonad maturation, which are normally bound to short-day (i.e., previtellogenesis in the females, bundling of sperms to spermiozeugmata in the males). They were mostly suppressed by photoperiods which represent uneven multiples of 12 h (12, 36, 60). These results permit the conclusion that the short-day measurement is based on an oscillatory (circadian) process. Experiments with “dark breaks” in an extreme long-day (LD 20:4) resulted in two peaks of “short-day” effects. From these findings a model of short-day measurement was derived. It postulates that there are two dark sensitive phases every 24 h during which the beetles require darkness in order for the short-day processes to occur. One of these phases is set by dawn, reaching its peak 15 h thereafter. The other phase is set by dusk and reaches its maximum about 7 h afterwards. Thus, the steps of gonad development bound to short-day are induced if the night is at least about 8–9 h long. The two scotophile phases represent two systems of short-day measurement, which complement each other and strengthen their effects.
Light break experiments revealed that the long-day process of ovarian development (vitellogenesis in the females) is induced if light falls into a photosensitive phase during the second half of the day with its maximum about 15 h after “light on.”