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1 March 2015 Mom Matters: Diapause Characteristics of Culex pipiens—Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Hybrid Mosquitoes
Megan E. Meuti, Clancy A. Short, David L. Denlinger
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Females of the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens L., are capable of entering an adult overwintering diapause characterized by arrested ovarian development, enhanced stress tolerance, and elevated lipid stores. In contrast, the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say, lacks this capacity and is therefore unable to survive the harsh winters found in northern regions of North America. These two species are capable of forming fertile hybrids in the United States, yet the diapause characteristics of these hybrids have not been extensively investigated. We crossed Cx. pipiens from Columbus, OH, with Cx. quinquefasciatus from Vero Beach, FL, and reared F1 hybrids from all mothers separately under diapause-inducing, short-day conditions (a photoperiod of 8:16 [L:D] h) at 18°C. Egg follicle length and lipid content were used to assess the diapause status of hybrids. Diapause incidence of hybrids varied widely for progeny from different mothers of the same species, but hybrids with Cx. pipiens mothers were consistently more prone to enter diapause than hybrids that had Cx. quinquefasciatus mothers. Our results suggest a strong maternal influence on the diapause phenotype and that a high percentage (45–75%) of Cx. pipiens—Cx. quinquefasciatus hybrids are capable of entering diapause. This implies that many hybrids can successfully overwinter, leading to a possible widening of the hybrid zone of these two species in North America.

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Megan E. Meuti, Clancy A. Short, and David L. Denlinger "Mom Matters: Diapause Characteristics of Culex pipiens—Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Hybrid Mosquitoes," Journal of Medical Entomology 52(2), 131-137, (1 March 2015).
Received: 5 June 2014; Accepted: 7 November 2014; Published: 1 March 2015

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egg follicle length
fat content
northern house mosquito
southern house mosquito
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