Survivorship and longevity of Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski (Diptera: Chironomidae) under snow

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A.M. Anderson
P. Kranzfelder
R.W. Bouchard Jr
L.C. Ferrington Jr. *
(*) Corresponding Author:
L.C. Ferrington Jr. |


Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski commonly grow and emerge from groundwater dominated streams in winter. Previous estimates of longevity for adults of D. mendotae collected from the snow surface averaged 18.6 days post-collection, with 76.9% of individuals dying between Day 10 and Day 30 post-collection and 4.4% surviving over 40 days. Maximum longevities for males and females were 48 and 54 days, respectively. In this paper, we report survivorship and longevity of fieldcollected adults of D. mendotae kept at ambient snow temperature conditions. Adults (n=140) were collected in February from snow along groundwater-dominated sections of the Kinnickinnic River (Wisconsin, USA). All individuals were placed in vials, buried in snow, and retrieved in batches of 10 males and 10 females at 4-day intervals for 28 days. Once retrieved, adults were maintained at 6°C in controlled environmental chambers to determine survivorship and longevity. All individuals survived snow burial treatment, indicating they are capable of surviving sub-freezing field conditions for at least 28 days. Estimates of adult maximum longevity were as high as 66 days, higher than previous estimates for this genus. Our results suggest adults of D. mendotae can persist under snow cover, with high survivorship and longevity, potentially increasing their probability of successful reproduction in regions where lethal winter air temperatures occur.

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Author Biography

L.C. Ferrington Jr., Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota