Freeze tolerance in larvae of the winter-active Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski (Diptera: Chironomidae): A contrast to adult strategy for survival at low temperatures

R. W. Bouchard, M. A. Carrillo, S. A. Keils, Leonard C Ferrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The winter-active Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski (Diptera: Chironomidae) is freeze intolerant in the adult stage with a low mean supercooling point (SCP) of ∼-20°C. However, cold-hardiness strategies for immatures of this species are unknown. In this study, we measured SCP values for D. mendotae larvae, pupae and adults using surface-contact thermometry. In addition, the lower lethal temperature (LLT) was determined for the larval stage. The mean SCPs for larvae (-7.4°C) and pupae (-9.1°C) were relatively high compared to adults (-19.7°C). Our results indicate that the larvae of D. mendotae are freeze tolerant with a LLT99 (-25.4°C), ∼-10°C lower than their minimum SCP (-15.6°C). Freeze tolerance in these larvae may be a strategy to provide protection from short-term exposures to ice crystals or to permit diapause within frozen substrates. The change in cold-hardiness strategy from freeze tolerant to freeze intolerant between the larval and adult stages of this species is likely a result of the different habitats occupied by these two life stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-416
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume568
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Keywords

  • Cold hardiness
  • Lotic
  • Lower lethal temperature
  • Supercooling point
  • Winter activity

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