Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 373–381 | Cite as

Anti-Predator Behavioral Responses of Mosquito Pupae to Aerial Predation Risk

  • Iñaki Rodríguez-Prieto
  • Esteban Fernández-JuricicEmail author
  • José Martín

Aquatic insects have two potential sources of predation risk: aquatic predators and aerial predators. Our goal was to assess anti-predator responses of Culex pipiens to aerial predation. By simulating predator attacks, we assessed (a) the distance fled in relation to depth and group size, (b) the distribution of individuals at different depths, and (c) the duration of surfacing events to obtain air in scenarios with varying predation risk. Pupae located closer to the surface fled deeper into the water, and the number of conspecifics decreased the distance fled. When the risk of predation increased, more individuals were found deeper in the water column, and the interval between two consecutive surfacing events increased. Culex pipiens shows a trade-off between avoiding aerial predation and maintaining oxygen acquisition, which may be regulated by the need to conserve energy reserves.


aerial predation risk anti-predator behavior Culex pupae water depth oxygen consumption resource use 



IRP was supported by an I3P Postgraduate Grant from CSIC; EFJ, by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CSULB); and JM, by the MCYT project BOS 2002–00547.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iñaki Rodríguez-Prieto
    • 1
  • Esteban Fernández-Juricic
    • 2
    Email author
  • José Martín
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología EvolutivaMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesCalifornia State University Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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