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Cold tolerance in northern populations of semiaquatic bugs (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha)

Tildelt: kr 22 000

Cold tolerance is a crucial life history trait for temperate semiaquatic bugs. It affects mortality during overwintering, and also strategy of overwintering in some species. Especially in water cricket Velia caprai (Veliidae), a unique overwintering strat egy in Central Europe as both eggs and adults is probably a bet-hedging strategy, probably closely connected with low cold tolerance in this species. Nevertheless, cold hardiness in semiaquatic bugs has never been examined in detail. Norwegian populations of semiaquatic bugs are likely to be adapted to cold climate, but mild winters in coastal areas may have suppressed selective pressure to maintain high cold hardiness. During this project, cold tolerance in selected semiaquatic bugs in Norwegian populati ons before overwintering will be examined. State of gonads will be checked to find a probable overwintering strategy. Results will be compared to those in Central Europe. High attention will be paid to V. caprai to reveal if unique overwintering strategy of this species in Central Europe is shared with other European populations.