Diel vertical migration patterns in two populations of Chaoborus flavicans larvae (Diptera: Chaoboridae) in response to fish kairomones
AbstractDiel vertical migration (DVM) of larvae of the phantom midge Chaoborus flavicans (Diptera: Chaoboridae) inhabiting a fishless pond and a fish-abundant lake (Lake Nakanuma) was studied in the field and in the laboratory. In the fishless pond, dissolved oxygen concentration and water temperature were homogeneously distributed in the vertical profiles and Chaoborus larvae did not show DVM. In contrast, there was thermal stratification and an anoxic layer in Lake Nakanuma, and 2nd, 3rd and 4th instar Chaoborus larvae exhibited DVM. Fourth instar Chaoborus larvae collected from the two populations were introduced into thermally stratified acrylic tubes containing 'fish water' (water conditioned by fish and containing only the fish 'smell') or control water free of fish smell after a two-day acclimatization, and the larval positions in the tubes were analysed during the day and at night. The two populations of Chaoborus larvae showed different DVM patterns in the control water: the larvae from Lake Nakanuma exhibited DVM, whereas those from the fishless pond did not. Chaoborus larvae from Lake Nakanuma responded to the fish kairomones, exhibiting marked DVM in the fish water, whereas little response to the fish smell was recognized in the larvae from the fishless pond. The presence of a difference in response between the two populations implies that they had genetically different patterns of expression of DVM and thus different behavioural responses to the fish smell. The fish smell tended to cause the Chaoborus larvae in the tubes to increase their depth, during both the day and night. The effects of the fish smell became ambiguous with time, suggesting microbial degradation of the fish kairomones.
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