Biting insects in a rapidly changing Arctic

WashU affiliated authors: Amanda M Koltz (Dept. of Biology)

Abstract: The Arctic is changing rapidly and impacting biting insects in diverse ways due to species having varied life histories that span multiple habitat types. For example, larval and pupal (A) blackflies and (B) mosquitoes depend on freshwater habitats (streams/rivers and ponds, respectively) before their host-seeking adult stage, whereas (C) warble and botflies have life stages within their hosts and belowground. Changes in the temperature of water, air, and soil, as well as hydrology, soil moisture, and the timing of snowmelt all affect the phenology and survival of these groups. As adults, their flying activity and host-seeking behaviors are also impacted by changes in air temperature, wind, and precipitation.