Evol Ecol Res 15: 959-963 (2013)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The confusing transition into adulthood: time allocation to the life-history transition of aquatic larvae

Amber Gigi Hoi, Simon P.W. Zappia, Conan C. Phelan and Bernard D. Roitberg

Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Correspondence: A.G. Hoi, Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
e-mail: amb.g.hoi@gmail.com


Hypothesis: Organisms allocate their time towards reproduction (i.e. mature as soon as size threshold is reached) under extremely deprived conditions, and shift allocation towards growth should a nutrient influx occur.

Organism: Larvae from a laboratory colony of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae).

Methods: We divided individuals into three treatment groups: well-fed, starved, and ‘rescued’ (switching from low- to high-food diets). We recorded their age and size at emergence.

Results: Only a few small mosquitoes emerge under low-food conditions, and when ‘rescued’ they only partially catch up in size to the constantly well-fed individuals.

Keywords: age–size conflict, Anopheles, life history, metamorphosis, plasticity, metabolic energy.

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