Effects of nutrition and density in Culex pipiens

B. W. Alto, E. J. Muturi, R. L. Lampman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mosquito larvae face numerous biotic and abiotic challenges that affect their development and survivorship, as well as adult fitness. We conducted two experiments under semi-natural conditions to evaluate the effects of intraspecific competition, nutrient limitation and sub-lethal doses of malathion on individual life history traits in adult Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae). In the first experiment, larvae of Cx. pipiens were reared at different intraspecific densities and exposed to sub-lethal doses of malathion. In the second experiment, different intraspecific densities of Cx. pipiens larvae were reared under conditions of low or high larval nutrients, and subsequent adults were fed on either water or 10% sucrose solution. Malathion treatment had relatively minor effects compared with density, which had significant negative effects on development rate, survivorship to adulthood, body size (wing length) and longevity. As larval density increased, a sex ratio distortion in survivorship to adulthood emerged, in which a bias towards males was apparent. Nutrient-rich larval environments alleviated, in part, the effects of increasing density and extended the lifespan of mosquitoes fed on water and 10% sucrose. Density-dependent alterations in adult longevity attributable to the larval environment are complex and show contrasting results depending on interactions with other environmental factors. This study suggests that larval resource availability and competition influence Cx. pipiens population growth correlates and have lasting effects on traits that relate to a mosquito's ability to vector pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Keywords

  • Culex pipiens
  • Density dependence
  • Insecticide
  • Larvae
  • Longevity
  • Nutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of nutrition and density in Culex pipiens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this