Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (4): 579-587, 2010 | 10.14411/eje.2010.067

Effect of population density on the development of Mesovelia furcata (Mesoveliidae), Microvelia reticulata and Velia caprai (Veliidae) (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha)

Tomáš DITRICH1,2, Miroslav PAPÁČEK1
1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, University of South Bohemia, Jeronýmova 10, 371 15 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; e-mails: ditom@pf.jcu.cz; papacek@pf.jcu.cz
2 Department of Ecosystem Biology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Population density during nymphal development affects body size, developmental rate and wing polymorphism in semiaquatic bugs. Nymphs from crowded habitats grow faster and thus gain an advantage in the later stadia. Rapid development results in smaller body size in several gerrids. Macropterous adults develop more frequently at high population densities in most species, which enables the bugs to leave crowded habitats. Three European widespread species Mesovelia furcata Mulsant & Rey, 1852 (Mesoveliidae), Microvelia reticulata Burmeister, 1835 and Velia caprai Tamanini, 1947 (Veliidae) were reared individually and simultaneously either at a low or high population density. Duration of postembryonic development, wing morph, body size and length of distal oocyte in females were recorded. High population density accelerates development in Mesovelia furcata and Microvelia reticulata. However, there was no trade-off between developmental rate and body size. Accelerated development without a decrease in body size was probably because maturation was delayed. Individually reared nymphs developed faster than nymphs from communal cohorts. No long-winged Microvelia reticulata specimen developed in any treatment. However, more macropterous individuals developed in high-density treatments in Mesovelia furcata (significant) and Velia caprai (not significant). All the nymphs of the species that were reared individually developed into apterous adults. The results suggest that population density strongly influences the life history of semiaquatic bugs. However, the only commonly shared response seems to be an increase in developmental rate when reared at high population densities. Other traits such as wing dimorphism, body size and rate of oogenesis differ at the species level.

Keywords: Population density, developmental rate, wing dimorphism, body size, oogenesis, Mesoveliidae, Veliidae, Heteroptera

Received: December 22, 2009; Accepted: June 3, 2010; Published: October 20, 2010

Download citation

References

  1. AHLROTH P., ALATALO R.V., HYVARINEN E. & SUHONEN J. 1999: Geographical variation in wing polymorphism of the waterstrider Aquarius najas (Heteroptera, Gerridae). J. Evol. Biol. 12: 156-160 Go to original source...
  2. ANDERSEN N.M. 1973: Seasonal polymorphism and developmental changes in organs of flight and reproduction in bivoltine pondskaters (Hem. Gerridae). Entomol. Scand. 4: 1-20 Go to original source...
  3. ANDERSEN N.M. 1982: The semiaquatic bugs (Hemiptera, Gerromorpha). Phylogeny, adaptations, biogeography, and classification. Entomonograph 3: 1-455
  4. APPLEBAUM S.W. & HEIFETZ Y. 1999: Density-dependent physiological phase in insects. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 44: 317-341 Go to original source...
  5. BRONMARK C., MALMQVIST B. & OTTO C. 1985: Dynamics and structure of a Velia caprai (Heteroptera) population in a south Swedish stream. Holarct. Ecol. 8: 253-258
  6. CALABRESE D.M. 1979: Pterygomorphism in 10 Nearctic species of Gerris. Am. Midl. Nat. 101: 61-68 Go to original source...
  7. DAMGAARD J. 2008a: Evolution of the semi-aquatic bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Gerromorpha) with a re-interpretation of the fossil record. Acta Entomol. Mus. Nat. Pragae 48: 251-268
  8. DAMGAARD J. 2008b: Phylogeny of the semiaquatic bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera, Gerromorpha). Insect Syst. Evol. 39: 431-460 Go to original source...
  9. DITRICH T. & PAPACEK M. 2009a: Correlated traits for dispersal pattern: Terrestrial movement of the water cricket Velia caprai (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha: Veliidae). Eur. J. Entomol. 106: 551-555 Go to original source...
  10. DITRICH T. & PAPACEK M. 2009b: Effective strategy of the overwintering of semiaquatic bugs: overwintering of Velia caprai (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha: Veliidae). J. Nat. Hist. 43: 529-543 Go to original source...
  11. DITRICH T., PAPACEK M. & BROUM T. 2008: Spatial distribution of semiaquatic bugs (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha) and their wing morphs in a small scale of the Pohorsky Potok stream spring area (Novohradske Hory Mts.). Silva Gabreta 14: 173-178
  12. GALBREATH J.E. 1975: Thoracic polymorphism in Mesovelia mulsanti (Hemiptera: Mesoveliidae). Univ. Kans. Sci. Bull. 50: 457-482
  13. HARADA T. 1996: Effects of population density on the duration of nymphal period and diapause-posture at the adult stage in a water strider, Gerris latiabdominis (Hemiptera: Gerridae). Jpn. J. Entomol. 64: 413-419
  14. HARADA T. & SPENCE J.R. 2000: Nymphal density and life histories of two water striders (Hemiptera: Gerridae). Can. Entomol. 132: 353-363 Go to original source...
  15. HARADA T., TABUCHI R. & KOURA J. 1997: Migratory syndrome in the water strider Aquarius paludum (Heteroptera: Gerridae) reared in high versus low nymphal densities. Eur. J. Entomol. 94: 445-452
  16. MIELEWCZYK S. 1980: Zur Okologie, Biologie und Morphologie von Velia saulii Tam. und V. caprai Tam. (Heteroptera, Veliidae). Ann. Zool. (Wars.) 35: 285-305
  17. MURAJI M., MIURA T. & NAKASUJI F. 1989: Phenological studies on the wing dimorphism of a semi-aquatic bug, Microvelia douglasi (Heteroptera, Veliidae). Res. Popul. Ecol. 31: 129-138 Go to original source...
  18. MURAJI M. & NAKASUJI F. 1988: Comparative studies on lifehistory traits of three wing dimorphic water bugs, Microvelia spp Westwood (Heteroptera, Veliidae). Res. Popul. Ecol. 30: 315-327 Go to original source...
  19. PAPACEK M. & JANDOVA L. 2003: Extreme variability of life history in the water cricket Velia caprai, Tamanini 1947 (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha: Veliidae): the study under the environmental conditions of the Novohradske hory Mts. In Papacek M. (ed.): Biodiversity and Environmental Conditions of the Novohradske hory Mountains, University of South Bohemia and Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, ASCR, Ceske Budejovice, pp. 149-162 [in Czech, English abstr.]
  20. SAULICH A.H. & MUSOLIN D.I. 2007: Seasonal Development of Aquatic and Semiaquatic True Bugs (Heteroptera). St. Petersburg University Press, St. Petersburg, 205 pp
  21. SPENCE J.R. & ANDERSEN N.M. 1994: Biology of water striders - interactions between Systematics and Ecology. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 39: 101-128 Go to original source...
  22. STEPHENS P.A., SUTHERLAND W.J. & FRECKLETON R.P. 1999: What is the Allee effect? Oikos 87: 185-190 Go to original source...
  23. TAYLOR S.J. & MCPHERSON J.E. 1999: Morphological variation and polyvoltinism of Microvelia pulchella (Heteroptera: Veliidae) in southern Illinois, USA. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 63: 237-249
  24. VEPSALAINEN K. 1973: The distribution and habitats of Gerris Fabr. species (Heteroptera, Gerridae) in Finland. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 10: 419-444
  25. VEPSALAINEN K. 1974: Determination of wing length and diapause in water-striders (Gerris Fabr., Heteroptera). Hereditas 77: 163-176 Go to original source...
  26. WROBLEWSKI A. 1980: Pluskawiaki (Heteroptera). Fauna slodkowodna polski. [True Bugs (Heteroptera). Freshwater Fauna of Poland]. Vol. 8. Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa, Poznan, 154 pp
  27. ZERA A.J. 1991: Segregation and linkage analyse of five allozymes loci in Limnoporus canaliculatus. J. Hered. 82: 356-358 Go to original source...
  28. ZERA A.J., INNES D.J. & SAKS M.E. 1983: Genetic and environmental determinants of wing polymorphism in the waterstrider Limnoporus canaliculatus. Evolution: 37: 513-522 Go to original source...
  29. ZIMMERMANN M. 1984: Population-structure, life-cycle and habitat of the pondweed bug Mesovelia furcata (Hemiptera, Mesoveliidae). Rev. Suisse Zool. 91: 1017-1035 Go to original source...