Data from: The effect of parasitism and interpopulation hybridization on Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) fitness
Tseng, Michelle (2018), Data from: The effect of parasitism and interpopulation hybridization on Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) fitness, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.378bk
Recent research in mosquito population genetics suggests that interpopulation hybridization has likely contributed to the rapid spread of the container-breeding mosquitoes. Here, I used laboratory experiments to investigate whether interpopulation Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) F1 and F2 hybrids exhibit higher fitness than parental populations, and whether hybrid mosquito performance is related to infection by the coevolved protozoan parasite Ascogregarina taiwanensis (Lien and Levine). Overall, there were significant differences in development time, wing length, and survival between the two parental mosquito populations, but no difference in per capita growth rate r. Hybrid mosquitoes were generally intermediate in phenotype to the parentals, except that F2 females were significantly larger than the midparent average. In addition, As. taiwanensis parasites produced fewest oocysts when they were reared in hosts of hybrid origin. These data suggest that hybridization between previously isolated mosquito populations can result in slight increases in potential mosquito reproductive success, via increased hybrid body size, and via the temporary escape from coevolved parasites. These findings are significant because studies have shown that even slight hybrid vigor can have positive fitness consequences for population persistence. Although this was a laboratory experiment extending only to the F2 generation, many other invasive insects also carry coevolved parasites, and thus the patterns seen in this mosquito system may be broadly relevant.