Journal article

The influence of potential stressors on oviposition site selection and subsequent growth, survival and emergence of the non-biting midge (Chironomus tepperi)

Robin Hale, Valentina Colombo, Molly Hoak, Vin Pettigrove, Stephen E Swearer



Theory predicts that animals should prefer habitats where their fitness is maximized but some mistakenly select habitats where their fitness is compromised, that is, ecological traps. Understanding why this happens requires knowledge of the habitat selection cues animals use, the habitats they prefer and why, and the fitness costs of habitat selection decisions. We conducted experiments with a freshwater insect, the non-biting midge Chironomus tepperi to ask: (a) whether females respond to potential oviposition cues, (b) to explore whether oviposition is adaptive in relation to metal pollution and conductivity, and (c) whether individuals raised in poor quality sites are more likely to breed..

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