Life cycle of natural populations of Metriocnemus (Inermipupa) carmencitabertarum Langton & Cobo 1997 (Diptera: Chironomidae) in The Netherlands: indications for a southern origin?

Jan Kuper


The life-history and behaviour of the chironomid Metriocnemus (Inermipupa) carmencitabertarum was studied for three years and a comparison was made between two populations in the Netherlands. Key life-history characteristics are reported, including the number of generations (2-5 generations) and duration of larval development (19-55 days). Life-history characteristics differed between the two populations and between generations within a population. These differences were likely related to differences in competitors (mainly Chironomus riparius Meigen) and thermal characteristics of the habitat from variations in water volume and ambient temperature. Results suggested a diapause in summer, when water levels dropped, and not in winter. A clear seasonal pattern in body size was found with pupal length increasing steeply at the beginning of the summer. The increase in body size was positively correlated with mean ambient temperature during larval development. This correlation is in contrast with the Temperature-Size Rule (TSR) in ectotherms, which postulates a negative correlation between temperature and adult body size. The chance of ectotherm predators being present in the habitat is low, which may explain this feature. Life history characteristics supported a recent northward range expansionfor M. (I.) carmencitabertarum due to warmer winters. If correct, it is predicted that the species will be found in Scotland and northern Germany and/or southern Denmark in the near future.


Chironomidae; Metriocnemus carmencitabertarum; life history; range expansion

Full Text:



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.