Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (1): 43-48, 2009 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2009.006

Responses of life-history traits of brackish- and freshwater populations of the water strider to NaCl Aquarius paludum (Hemiptera: Gerridae)

Manabu KISHI1, Tetsuo HARADA2, Kenji FUJISAKI1
1 Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan; e-mail: kishi@hotmail.co.jp
2 Laboratory of Environmental Physiology, Graduate School of Integrated Sciences on Human and Nature, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan; e-mail: haratets@kochi-u.ac.jp

The water strider Aquarius paludum inhabits the surfaces of a wide variety of freshwater habitats both temporary and permanent. It can also live on the surface brackish-water around river mouths. Exposure to a brackish rather than freshwater environment may affect a range of adult and offspring life-history traits. In a two-stage experiment A. paludum offspring from fresh- (F) and brackish-water (B) populations were obtained and their offspring reared in either a fresh- or brackish-water (0.45% NaCl) environments. The four offspring treatment groups (F-F, F-B, B-F, B-B) varied in terms of the parental and offspring rearing environments. The effect of parental and offspring rearing environment on longevity, fecundity and flight was assessed. Offspring reared in a brackish environment throughout their larval and adult stages had a reduced longevity and egg production. The flight activity of the offspring originated from the brackish-water population was maintained when they were reared in a brackish environment, but inhibited when they were exposed to freshwater. Our results suggest that the life-history strategies depend critically on the degree of salinity in both the current environment and that of their parents.

Keywords: Gerridae, water strider, brackish-water, life-history traits, population origin, rearing environment

Received: December 17, 2007; Accepted: November 13, 2008; Published: March 10, 2009

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