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Behavior and Risk of Predation in Larval Tree Hole Mosquitoes: Effects of Hunger and Population History of Predation

Steven A. Juliano, Laura J. Hechtel and John R. Waters
Oikos
Vol. 68, No. 2 (Nov., 1993), pp. 229-241
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3544835
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3544835
Page Count: 13
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Behavior and Risk of Predation in Larval Tree Hole Mosquitoes: Effects of Hunger and Population History of Predation
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Abstract

We compare fixed behavior patterns and estimate associated risk of predation for eight populations of Aedes triseriatus at different levels of hunger, produced by manipulation of food availability prior to the test. Activity patterns (frequencies of browsing, filtering, resting and thrashing) varied significantly among populations, but did not differ significantly between populations from sympatry with the predator Toxorhynchites rutilus vs those from allopatry to this predator. Activity patterns were affected by hunger, with increasing hunger associated with decreasing thrashing and resting, and increasing browsing. Food affected activity in all populations in a similar fashion. Estimates of risk of predation associated with activity patterns varied significantly among populations, but did not differ significantly between sympatric vs allopatric A. triseriatus. Risk associated with activity patterns increased with increasing hunger. Patterns of positions occupied (bottom, middle, wall, and surface) also varied significantly among populations, but again did not differ significantly between populations from sympatry with Toxorhynchites rutilus vs those from allopatry to this predator. Positions were affected by food, however the effects of food on positions differed significantly among populations. Estimated risk of predation associated with positions varied among populations, but did not differ between sympatric and allopatric populations. Hunger affected risk associated with positions in early instars, but the effect was not consistent across populations. Hunger had no effect on risk associated with positions in late instar larvae. Although there are pronounced behavioral differences among populations, these differences are not associated with presence/absence of T. rutilus, hence are unlikely to be products of natural selection by predation. Hunger affects behavior and increases risk of predation, primarily via changes in activity pattern. Activity pattern changes with hunger more consistently that does position.

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