JOURNAL OF VECTOR ECOLOGY, vol.36, no.2, pp.348-354, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
Body size is an important trait involved in overall fitness through its effects on mating success, fecundity, resource acquisition and mortality, and desiccation resistance. In this study, we raised inbred Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito cohorts at different developmental temperatures of 20 degrees, 23 degrees, and 27 degrees C. As an indicator of the amount of genetic variation in body size, we estimated the narrow-sense heritability of body sizes defined as wing aspect ratios. Our results show that narrow-sense heritability of the body size increased as the developmental temperature increased. We also detected the presence of strong genotype-by-environment (G x E) interaction from low cross-environmental correlations. The body size of each temperature regime followed the general rule that higher temperatures produce smaller individuals. We suggest that the increase in genetic variation with increasing temperature might be due to an unleashing of the cryptic genetic variation of the putative genes affecting body size. We conclude that this increase in genetic variation tracking the environmental (developmental temperature) change could have considerable implications for the distribution and range expansion of Cx. quinquefasciatus, especially in warmer environments.