Effect of Temperature on the Development and Survival of the Argentine Ant, Linepithema humile

The influence of temperature on the developmental times and survival of insects can largely determine their distribution. For invasive species, like the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), these data are essential for predicting their potential range based on mechanistic models. In the case of this species, such data are too scarce and incomplete to make accurate predictions based on its physiological needs. This research provides comprehensive new data about brood survival and developmental times at a wide range of temperatures under laboratory conditions. Temperature affected both the complete brood development from egg to adult worker and each of the immature stages separately. The higher the temperature, the shorter the development times. Brood survival from egg to adult was low, with the maximum survival rate being only 16% at 26º C. Temperature also affected survival of each of the immature stages differently: eggs were negatively affected by high temperatures, while larvae were negatively affected by low temperatures, and the survival of pupae was apparently independent of environmental temperature. At 32º C no eggs survived, while at 18º C less than 2% of the eggs hatched into larva. The data from the present study are essential for developing prediction models about the distribution range of this tramp species based on its physiological needs in relation to temperature ​
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