Trait-mediated effects of predation across life-history stages in container mosquitoes


Katie S. Costanzo, Department of Biology, Canisius College, 2001 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14208, U.S.A. E-mail:


1. It was determined if the predatory midge Corethrella appendiculata Grabham imposes a fitness cost in a native mosquito, Ochlerotatus triseriatus Say, and an invasive mosquito, Aedes albopictus Skuse. The hypothesis that decreased activity of immature prey in the presence of predator cues is associated with life history costs through all life cycle stages was tested.

2. In experiment 1, individual larvae of O. triseriatus or A. albopictus were raised in the presence or absence of predation cues at two resource levels. Prey were video recorded to detect behavioural responses and to measure development time, size at emergence, and adult longevity. In experiment 2, prey populations were reared in similar environments and the frequency of predator cue additions was varied.

3. Only O. triseriatus reduced its activity in the presence of predation cues. Predation cues were associated with longer immature development times and shorter adult life spans in O. triseriatus, whereas in A. albopictus, the cues were associated with a larger size of emerging adults.

4. In the present study, it was found that behavioural modifications during the larval stage can affect mosquitoes through multiple stages of their complex life cycle. The species-specific behavioural differences are probably attributable to the longer evolutionary history O. triseriatus has with predators, relative to the invasive A. albopictus.