Maternal effects of female size on egg viability and first instar size in container-inhabiting mosquitoes

Monday, November 17, 2014: 11:48 AM
B117-119 (Oregon Convention Center)
Francis N. Ezeakacha , Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Donald A. Yee , Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Maternal effects, such as carry-over effects from the adult stage to offspring performance, are poorly documented in container mosquitoes. Such effects may take the form of egg size variation oviposition site selection, and increased variability in egg number. Environmental conditions experienced by adult females can also influence their life span and fecundity, thereby affecting lifetime egg production. We tested the hypothesis that female size affects egg size, egg number, and subsequently first instars size in three container-inhabiting mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus. To produce different body sizes, females were reared in under three environments: animal detritus (crickets), leaf detritus (red maple), and animal and leaf detritus. The number of eggs laid by 10 females randomly selected 10 days after oviposition were obtained and egg size was measured as mean egg volume for each treatment per species; remaining eggs were hatched and the number of hatched larvae were recorded. Also, 50 first instar individuals were randomly selected for morphometrics of four anatomical features: siphon length (from base to apex), siphon width (from base to insertion at the eighth abdominal segment), cephalic capsule length (between the head extremities) and cephalic capsule width (between two eye extremities). This investigation predicts that size of eggs and first instars will be correlated with female size, and that eggs from smaller females will have lower hatch success than those of larger females. Fully documenting the maternal effects from medically-important mosquitoes will aid in a better understanding of their population dynamics in the field.
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