Although larvae of the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica, live for more than 2 years, the adult and embryonic stages are brief and are less well known than the larvae. In this report, we provide additional details of these understudied life stages with laboratory observation on adult emergence, longevity, preoviposition period and embryonic development. Male adults emerged slightly earlier than females, and they also lived longer. More than a half (57 %) of the adults that emerged in the laboratory were males. Females produced only a single egg mass and died within a day after oviposition. Embryonic development required 16 days at 4 °C, and prior to hatching, the pharate larvae perform a distinct sequence of behaviors that include drinking and peristaltic movement. We also discuss points that need to be resolved for laboratory propagation of this species.
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This study was supported by OCU Oversea Science Mission Program from Osaka City University to SGG and by NSF Grants ANT-0837559 and 0837613 to REL and DLD.
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Harada, E., Lee, R.E., Denlinger, D.L. et al. Life history traits of adults and embryos of the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica . Polar Biol 37, 1213–1217 (2014) doi:10.1007/s00300-014-1511-0
- Adult emergence
- Preoviposition period
- Belgica antarctica