Lionfish Invasion: Density-Dependent Population Dynamics

Predation of mosquito larvae

A side portrait of a fish
A closeup picture of 12 brown worm like insects (mosquito larvae) in water

Young mosquitoes, called larvae, are small, wormlike, and live in the water. They are eaten by a variety of predators, including a species of small fish called the banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus). Bickerton and colleagues (2018) used killifish and mosquito larvae to investigate factors that affect predation. The scientists placed pairs of killifish in tanks with mosquito (Culex pipiens) larvae at five different densities. They then used digital images to record how many larvae were eaten by the killifish over time.

The effect of density (number of mosquito larvae per predator) on the number of larvae consumed by killifish after 1.5 hours


A graph with x axis labeled Mosquito larvae per fish predator with values ranging from 10 to 60 in increments of 10. The y axis is labeled Number of larvae consumed and ranges from 0 to 50 in increments of 10. Five individual points are plotted, the first with values of 10 larvae per fish at just under 10 larvae consumed, the second with values of 20 larvae per fish and 18 larvae consumed, the third with values of 30 larvae per fish and just under 30 larvae consumed, the forth with values of 45 larvae per fish and just under 40 larvae consumed, and the fifth with values of 60 larvae per fish and around 40 larvae consumed.

Use what you've learned above to answer the following questions:

Case Studies