, Volume 568, Issue 1, pp 403–416 | Cite as

Freeze tolerance in larvae of the winter-active Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski (Diptera: Chironomidae): a contrast to adult strategy for survival at low temperatures

  • R. W. BouchardJr.
  • M. A. Carrillo
  • S. A. Kells
  • L. C. FerringtonJr.Email author
Primary Research Paper


The winter-active Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski (Diptera: Chironomidae) is freeze intolerant in the adult stage with a low mean supercooling point (SCP) of ~−20 °C. However, cold-hardiness strategies for immatures of this species are unknown. In this study, we measured SCP values for D. mendotae larvae, pupae and adults using surface-contact thermometry. In addition, the lower lethal temperature (LLT) was determined for the larval stage. The mean SCPs for larvae (−7.4 °C) and pupae (−9.1 °C) were relatively high compared to adults (−19.7 °C). Our results indicate that the larvae of D. mendotae are freeze tolerant with a LLT99 (−25.4 °C), ~−10 °C lower than their minimum SCP (−15.6 °C). Freeze tolerance in these larvae may be a strategy to provide protection from short-term exposures to ice crystals or to permit diapause within frozen substrates. The change in cold-hardiness strategy from freeze tolerant to freeze intolerant between the larval and adult stages of this species is likely a result of the different habitats occupied by these two life stages.


supercooling point lower lethal temperature cold hardiness lotic winter activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. BouchardJr.
    • 1
  • M. A. Carrillo
    • 1
  • S. A. Kells
    • 1
  • L. C. FerringtonJr.
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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