Evol Ecol Res 16: 223-234 (2014)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Sexually dimorphic body size and development time plasticity in Aedes mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)

Jillian D. Wormington and Steven A. Juliano

School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA

Correspondence: J.D. Wormington, Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, 501 Life Science West, Stillwater, OK 74075, USA.
e-mail: jillianwormington@gmail.com


Background: Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in insects often accompanies a sexual difference in development time, sexual bimaturism (SBM).

Goal: To determine whether three Aedes mosquito species have similar plasticity in SSD, attain sexual dimorphism through similar strategies, and whether SSD and SBM are associated.

Organisms: Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Aedes triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae).

Methods: In four different food availability environments, we quantified plastic responses of relative growth rate (RGR), development time, and adult body size in individually reared males and females.

Results: Food availability affected RGR differently for the sexes for all three species. The RGR of males and females differed significantly in the 0.1 g/L food treatment. This difference did not account for observed SSD. Food levels over which the largest changes in RGR were observed differed among the species. Male and female adult mass and development time were jointly affected by food availability in a pattern that differed among the three species, so that degree of SSD and SBM changed differentially with food availability for all three species. Development time was generally less sexually dimorphic than mass, particularly in A. albopictus. At lower food levels, A. aegypti and A. triseriatus had accentuated dimorphism in development time. These results, combined with our knowledge of mosquito life history, suggest that a direct benefit of SBM is improbable for mosquitoes and that the observed intersexual differences in development time are more likely byproducts of selection for SSD.

Keywords: Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Aedes triseriatus, phenotypic plasticity, sexual bimaturism, sexual size dimorphism.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2014 Jillian D. Wormington. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.