Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

William Irby

Committee Member 1

Lance Durden

Committee Member 2

Lorenza Beati


Wyeomyia smithii Coquillett lives only within the pitchers of the purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea L. An isolated population of Wy. smithii occurs in Tattnall Co., GA isolated from other populations by over 300 km in all directions. In order to monitor the stability, phenology, and behavior of this population, fluctuations of the larval and pupal abundances (number/pitcher) were monitored over time. The density (number/mL) of Wy. smithii larvae present within pitchers was recorded from June 2012 until April 2014. Fluid volume contained in pitchers had a strong positive effect on larval abundance within the pitcher (r2 = 0.624). The density of larvae had strong seasonal patterns and has an overall positive trend over time. Temperature was shown to effect the abundance of larvae (P = 0.093). Blood feeding occurred during both 2012 and 2013 but became more prevalent later in the summer each year, with an increase in frequency of blood meals in 2013 compared to 2012. Stasis (diapause) began in November and terminated in March. Mortality was most common in fourth instar larvae. Differences in weather may account for the difference in larval density over the course of this study.

Included in

Entomology Commons