Reduced size and starvation resistance in adult mosquitoes, Aedes notoscriptus, exposed to predation cues as larvae

van Uitregt, Vincent O., Hurst, Timothy P. and Wilson, Robbie S. (2012) Reduced size and starvation resistance in adult mosquitoes, Aedes notoscriptus, exposed to predation cues as larvae. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81 1: 108-115. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01880.x


Author van Uitregt, Vincent O.
Hurst, Timothy P.
Wilson, Robbie S.
Title Reduced size and starvation resistance in adult mosquitoes, Aedes notoscriptus, exposed to predation cues as larvae
Formatted title
Reduced size and starvation resistance in adult mosquitoes, Aedes notoscriptus, exposed to predation cues as larvae
Journal name Journal of Animal Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8790
1365-2656
Publication date 2012-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01880.x
Volume 81
Issue 1
Start page 108
End page 115
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Summary

1. Many prey organisms exhibit adaptive phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits that facilitate a better chance of survival in the presence of predators. The evolution of such plastic traits requires that the defensive phenotype incurs a cost in the absence of predation.

2.  Model systems that are used to examine predator-induced defences are often organisms with complex life histories that only induce defences during the larval stage. While many studies have detected costs of inducible defences during the larval stage, detecting the costs of larval defences after metamorphosis is also important.

3.
 We examine the benefits and costs of inducible larval defences in the urban mosquito, Aedes notoscriptus, by rearing them in the presence and absence of predation cues. We compared survival of larvae inducing behavioural defences, when exposed to predation cues, in predation trials with predatory fish Hypseleotris galii to that of larvae reared in the absence predation cues. We also compared life-history traits of predator-exposed larvae to larvae reared in control conditions.

4.
 Larvae exposed to chemical predation cues limited activity and were able to avoid predation for longer in trials with H. galii. However, predator-exposed larvae suffered retarded larval growth and development, were smaller at metamorphosis and less resistant to starvation as adults.

5. While it is difficult to understand the ‘fitness costs’ that poorer starvation resistance might confer to adult mosquitoes, it is likely that smaller adult size of predator-exposed individuals would reduce fitness, particularly for females where body size limits the size of blood meal they could take to facilitate egg production. We suggest that the demonstrable costs of inducible defences in mosquito larvae make this a good system for testing theoretical models for the evolutionary maintenance of adaptive phenotypic plasticity.
Keyword Behavioural defences
Mosquito predation
Predator-induced plasticity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online: 29 June 201.1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 07 Sep 2011, 10:54:32 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences