Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (3): 397-402, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.050

Relationship between the development of Simulium maculatum (Diptera: Simuliidae) and the thermal regime

Rasa BERNOTIENĖ, Galina BARTKEVIČIENĖ
Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, LT-08412 Vilnius - 21, Lithuania; e-mails: rasab@ekoi.lt; galina@ekoi.lt

Warmer temperatures in the past 30 years have significantly influenced the seasonal development of insects throughout Europe. As a result of the outbreaks of black flies that have occurred in southeastern Lithuania since the 1970s it is hypothesized that this increase in black fly activity is due to the change in climate. To test this hypothesis the development of Simulium maculatum Meigen under different conditions was determined. This revealed that the time of hatching of S. maculatum eggs in Lithuania was influenced by winter air temperatures, especially those in March. Pupation in S. maculatum is associated with the increase in air and water temperatures that occur at the end of April and in May. The emergence of S. maculatum black flies occurs most often in May. At a water temperature of 13.2°C (1999), S. maculatum took 42 days to develop and half this time (21 days) when the water temperature was 18.8°C (2005). The number of black flies that emerged each year was determined by air temperature but unaffected by rainfall in June (either per month or per ten-day period).

Keywords: Simuliidae, Simulium maculatum, development, temperature, precipitation, atmospheric circulation

Received: October 12, 2010; Accepted: January 13, 2011; Published: July 1, 2011

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