Mosquito Neon Sign

Neon sign of mosquito larvae!

Feeding Behavior and Ecology of larval mosquitoes and black flies

Studies over the last 20 years have concentrated on larval feeding behavior and ecology of mosquito and black fly larvae. These have centered around particle sizes ingested, movement and functional morphology of mouth parts, food quality and quantity, and general feeding ecology. This research is discussed in the publications below are from post 1980.


Anopheles larvae feeding

Blackfly Head closeup

scanning electron micrograph of
blackfly head showing cephalic fans
(Photo by D. Craig)

Publications

Blackfly Larvae

Blackfly larvae filter feeding

Wallace, J.B. and R.W. Merritt. 1980. Filter-feeding ecology of aquatic insects. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 25:103-132.

Merritt, R.W. and J.B. Wallace. 1981. Filter-feeding in aquatic insects. Scientific American. 244:131-44.

Merritt, R.W., D.H. Ross and G.J. Larson. 1982. Influence of stream temperature and seston on the growth and production of overwintering larval black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae). Ecology 63:1322-31.

Merritt, R.W., D.H. Ross and G.J. Larson. 1983. Stream temperature, food and black fly production. BioScience 33:51-53.

Kim, K.C. and R.W. Merritt (eds.). 1987. Black flies: Ecology, population management, and annotated world list. Penn. State Univ. Press, University Park, PA.

Ross, D.H. and R.W. Merritt. 1987. Factors affecting larval black fly distributions and population dynamics, pp. 90-108. In: Black flies: Ecology, population management, and annotated world list. Penn. State Univ. Press, University Park, PA.

Merritt, R.W. and D.A. Craig. 1987. Larval mosquito feeding mechanisms: Mucosubstance production for capture of fine particles. J. Med. Ent. 24:275-278.

Merritt. R.W. 1987. Do different instars of Aedes triseriatus feed on particles of same size? J. Amer. Mosq. Contr. Assoc. 3:94-96.

Wotton, R.S. and R.W. Merritt. 1988. Experimental studies on the predatory larvae of Limnophora riparia (Diptera: Muscidae). Holarctic Ecology. 11:151-59.

Merritt R.W. and R.S. Wotton. 1988. The life history and behavior of Limnophora riparia (Fallen) (Diptera: Muscidae), a predator of larval black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae). J. North American Benthological Society. 7:1-12.

Walker, E.D., Olds-Davis, E. and R.W. Merritt. 1988. Gut content analysis of mosquito larvae (Diptera: Culicidae) using DAPI and epifluorescence microscopy. J. Med. Entomol. 25:551-54.

Merritt, R.W., E.J. Olds and E.D. Walker. 1990. Natural food and feeding behavior of Coquillettidia perturbans larvae. J. Amer. Mosq. Cont. Assoc. 6:35-42.

Dahl, C., D.A. Craig and R.W. Merritt. 1990. The sites of possible mucus-producing glands in the feeding system of mosquito larvae (Culicidae, Diptera). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 83: 827-833.

Walker, E.D., D.L. Lawson, R.W. Merritt, W.T. Morgan and M.J. Klug. 1991. Nutrient dynamics, bacterial populations and mosquito growth in treehole ecosystems. Ecology 72: 1529-1546.

Walker, E.D., and R.W. Merritt. 1991. Behavior of larval Aedes triseriatus (Diptera: Culcidae). J. Med. Entomol. 28: 581-589.

Merritt, R. W., E. D. Walker, and H. Vanderploeg. 199l. What do anopheline mosquito larvae eat and how do they feed? Evidence from epifluorescence microscopy and high speed cinemaphotography. Video Production (l8 minutes). MSU- IMC.

Merritt, R. W., R. H. Dadd and E. D. Walker. l992. Feeding behavior, natural food and nutritional relationships of larval mosquitoes. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 37: 349-376.

Merritt, R. W., D. A. Craig, E. D. Walker, H. A. Vanderploeg, and R. S. Wotton. l992. Interfacial feeding behavior and particle flow patterns of Anopheles quadrimaculatus larvae (Diptera: Culicidae). J. Insect Behavior 5: 741-761.

Walker, E. D. and R. W. Merritt. 1993. Bacterial enrichment in the surface microlayer of an Anopheles quadrimaculatus larval habitat. J. Med. Entomol. 30: 1050-1052.

Wotton, R. S., M. S. Wipfli, L. Watson, and R. W. Merritt. 1993. Feeding variability among individual aquatic predators in artificial channels. Can. J. Zool. 71: 2033-2037.

Hershey, A. E., R. W. Merritt and M. C. Miller. 1995. Insect diversity, life history and trophic dynamics in arctic streams, with particular emphasis on black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae), pp. 283-295. In: F. S. Chapin, III, and C. Korner (eds.). Arctic and alpine biodiversity: Patterns, causes and ecosystems consequences. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Hershey, A. E., W. B. Bowden, L. A. Deegan, J. E. Hobbie, B. J. Peterson, G. W. Kipphut, G. W.Kling, M. A. Lock, R. W. Merritt, M. C. Miller, J. R. Vestal, and J. A. Schuldt. 1996. The Kuparuk River: A long-term study of biological and chemical processes in an arctic river. In: Milner, A., and M. Oswood (eds.). Alaskan freshwaters. Springer-Verlag, N. Y.

Hershey, A. E., R. W. Merritt, M. C. Miller, and J. S. McCrea. 1996. Organic matter processing by larval black flies in a temperate woodland stream. Oikos 75: 524-532.

Merritt, R. W., D. A. Craig, R. S. Wotton, and E. D. Walker. 1996. Feeding behavior of aquatic insects: Case studies on black fly and mosquito larvae. Inverte. Biol. 115: 206-217.

Walker, E. D., M. G. Kaufman, M. P. Ayres, M. H. Riedel, and R. W. Merritt. 1997. Effects of variation in quality of leaf detritus on growth of the eastern tree hole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae). Can. J. Zool. 75: 706-718.

Strand, R. M., D. A. Herms, M. G. Kaufman, M. E. Kubiske, W. J. Mattson, E. D. Walker, K. S. Pregitzer, and R. W. Merritt. 1996. Effects of elevated CO2 and shade on the decomposition of senesced tree foliage: Impacts on the growth and survival treehole mosquitoes, pp. 101-110. In: J. Hom, R. Birdsey, and K. O'Brian (eds). Proc. 1995 Mtg. Northern Global Change Progr., USDA, Northeast Forest Expt. Stat., GTR NE-214.

Kaufman, M. G., R. M. Strand, M. E. Kubiske, W. J. Mattson, D. A. Herms, E. D. Walker, K. S. Pregitzer, and R. W. Merritt. 1996. Effects of elevated CO2 and shade on the decomposition of senesced tree foliage: Impacts on microbial activity, pp. 89-100. In: J. Hom, R. Birdsey, and K. O'Brian (eds). Proc. 1995 Mtg. Northern Global Change Progr., USDA, Northeast Forest Expt. Stat., GTR NE-214.

Wotton, R. S., D. T. Chaloner, C. A. Yardley, and R. W. Merritt. 1997. Growth of Anopheles mosquito larvae on dietary microbiota in aquatic surface microlayers. Med. and Vet. Entomol. 11: 65-70.

Kaufman, M. G., E. D. Walker, T. W. Smith, R. W. Merritt, and M. J. Klug. 1999. Effects of larval mosquitoes (Aedes triseriatus) and stemflow on microbial community dynamics in container habitats. Applied & Environmental Microbiology 65: 2661-2673.

Lacey, L.A. and R. W. Merritt. 2003. The safety of bacterial microbial agents used for black fly and mosquito control in aquatic environments. In: “Assessment of Environmental Safety of Biological Insecticides” (H. Hokkanen and A. Hajek, eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Malmqvist. B., P. Adler, K. Kuusela, R. W. Merritt, and R. S. Wotton. 2004. Black flies in the boreal biome, key organisms in both terrestrial and aquatic environments: A review. Ecoscience 11: 187-200.