Climate differences across latitude can result in seasonal constraints and selection on life history characters. Since Aedes albopictus (Skuse) invaded North America in the mid-1980s, it has spread across a range of ≈14° latitude and populations in the north experience complete adult mortality due to cold winter temperatures that are absent in the south. Life table experiments were conducted to test for differences in the adult survival and reproductive schedules of Ae. albopictus females from two populations from the northern (Bloomington, IN [BL] and Manassas, VA [VA]; ≈39° N) and southern (Tampa, FL and Fort Myers, FL; ≈27–28° N) extremes of the species distribution in North America. Regardless of population origin, age-specific hazard rate increased with reproductive output and decreased with number of bloodmeals. Larger females took fewer bloodmeals, and they had greater hazard rates than did smaller females. There were no consistent differences between northern versus southern populations in resource allocation between reproduction and maintenance, reproduction over time, and reproductive investment among offspring, suggesting that latitudinal variation in climate is probably not a main selective factor impinging on adult mortality and reproductive schedules. One possible effect of climate on geographic differences in life history was detected. BL had lower survivorship, lower lifetime reproductive output, and lower adult reproductive rate than did all other populations. This result may be an indirect result of lower egg survivorship due to the severity of winter in BL compared with other populations, including VA at approximately the same latitude. Such a scenario may make the BL population more prone to extinction, irregularly recolonized from more favorable sites, and thus more susceptible to founder effects, genetic drift, and inbreeding, resulting in lower mean values of fitness-related traits.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2