Behavioral changes in mosquito larvae induced by copepods predation

Awasthi, Amit Kant, Molinero, Juan Carlos, Wu, Cheng-Han, Tsai, Kun-Hsien, King, Chwan-Chuen and Hwang, Jiang-Shiou (2015) Behavioral changes in mosquito larvae induced by copepods predation Hydrobiologia, 749 (1). pp. 113-123. DOI 10.1007/s10750-014-2154-4.

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In aquatic ecosystems, body size has a remarkable influence on the hierarchical structure of food webs and trophic interactions. The trophic relationship between mosquito larvae and copepods offers an exception to the conspicuous feature that the bigger consumes the smaller. We here address this ecological question by investigating the predation impact of the epibenthic cyclopoid copepod Megacyclops formosanus on a 30-h old mosquito larvae Aedes aegypti in a controlled environment. Our quantitative assessment depicted the effect of M. formosanus on 30-h old mosquito larvae. We found that copepod captured mosquito larvae on an average 1.6 ± 0.20 larvae ind−1 h−1 with an attack speed 22.80 ± 8.52 mm s−1. In addition, copepod predation dramatically affected mosquito behavior. In the presence of predator, mosquito larvae significantly decreased browsing and filtering paths, while using mixed foraging tactics and shifting the habitat use from the bottom to surfacing or air–water interfacing. These results provide a mechanistic understanding of the interaction between mosquito and cyclopoid copepods, and show that copepod predation constrains the habitat use of mosquito larvae. Copepod predation pressure results in reduced facultative behavioral responses that challenge mosquito life history and ultimately percolate its population fitness.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000349968400009
Keywords: Predator–prey interaction; Behavior; Video-recording experiment; Megacyclops; Aedes aegypti
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10750-014-2154-4
ISSN: 0018-8158
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 09:55
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:41

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