We investigated the role of carbon dioxide and host temperature in host attraction in frog-biting midges (Corethrella spp). In these midges, females are known to use frog calls to localize their host, but the role of other host-emitted cues has yet not been investigated. We hypothesized that carbon dioxide acts as a supplemental cue to frog calls. To test this hypothesis, we determined the responses of the midges to carbon dioxide, frog calls, and both cues. A significantly lower number of midges are attracted to carbon dioxide and silent traps than to traps broadcasting frog calls. Adding carbon dioxide to the calls does not increase the attractiveness to the midges. Instead, carbon dioxide can have deterrent effects on frog-biting midges. Temperature of calling frogs is not a cue potentially available to the midges. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no supplemental effect of carbon dioxide when presented in conjunction to calls. Midge host-seeking behavior strongly depends on the mating calls emitted by their anuran host. Overall, non-acoustic cues such as host body temperature and carbon dioxide are not important in long-distance host location by frog-biting midges.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1