Predator Diet Affects Perceived Oviposition Site Quality for Mosquitoes

McDaniel, Brandon (2019) Predator Diet Affects Perceived Oviposition Site Quality for Mosquitoes. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of William Resetarits from Biology, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Ovipositing freshwater organisms rely primarily on cues to determine site quality (Silberbush and Blaustein 2008) and to select an ideal habitat for their offspring (Resetarits 2014). Characteristics of high quality oviposition sites that yield the greatest fitness for offspring include the absence of predators and high resource availability that allows for optimal growth and development (Kershenbaum et al. 2012). It has been shown that predator presence is a large deterrent of oviposition due to threats of offspring survival, however, there is a little information about the predatory cues mosquitoes experience before ovipositing (Angelon and Petranka 2002). One hypothesis is that fish may release a diet-dependent kairomone that alerts the mosquitoes of mosquito predators (Eveland et al. 2013). In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment to determine whether Fundulus chrysotus (golden topminnow) and Lepomis cyanellus (green sunfish) produce kairomones that alert mosquitoes of their presence. Furthermore, we tested whether these kairomones were dependent on predator diet. To determine this, we compared three treatments: 1) Fed fish, 2) Gut-cleared fish, and 3) a predator-free control pool. For both fish species, Fed fish repelled mosquito oviposition. Mosquito oviposition in pools containing F. chrysotus did not show a significant difference between Fed and Gut-cleared treatments; however, oviposition in pools containing L. cyanellus showed a difference in oviposition rates between the Gut-cleared and Fed treatments. The Gut-cleared and control treatments shared a higher oviposition rate than the Fed treatment. Our data suggests that the effect of diet on kairomone production could be species- specific. Further research must be conducted to isolate this potential chemical cue and learn more about the effects of kairomone production and detection by prey in aquatic ecology.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: McDaniel, Brandon
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Thesis Advisor: William Resetarits
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Depositing User: Brandon T McDaniel
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 20:16
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 20:16
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1571

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