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Open AccessArticle

Seasonal Change in Distribution and Heat Coma Temperature of Oceanic Skaters, Halobates (Insecta, Heteroptera: Gerridae)

1
Laboratory of Environmental Physiology, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Kochi University, Kochi 780-8520, Japan
2
Laboratory of Science Education, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Kochi University, Kochi 780 8520, Japan
3
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 277-8524 Kashiwa, Japan
4
Faculty of General Education, Tokyo Denki University, Tokyo 120-0034, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Deceased.
Insects 2018, 9(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9040133
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 16 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 5 October 2018
A series of studies were conducted during two cruises between Tokyo and Honolulu in September 2010 and from February to March 2012. The aims of the studies were to (1) compare the distribution of three species of Halobates oceanic skaters, H. germanus, H. micans, and H. sericeus, with respect to their temperature limits; (2) identify the lower temperature limit of H. sericeus, the species that displays the widest distribution range (40°N–35°S) latitude; and (3) test the hypothesis that H. sericeus can change their temperature tolerance to adapt to seasonal changes in sea surface temperatures. The heat coma temperature (HCT) was measured during the two cruises and the values were compared between the two populations of H. sericeus. The species collected in September 2010 were H. germanus, H. micans, and H. sericeus. H. sericeus was dominant, occupying more than 90% of the collecting sites. H. germanus and H. micans were collected in the northern and western part of the cruise track (29–34°N, 141–151°E), and not in the southern and eastern part. The population density of these two species was 9000–150,000/km2 in the first cruise, which took place in summer. On the other hand, H. sericeus was collected throughout the cruise track during that cruise. The population density of H. sericeus was relatively high, at 4000–310,000/km2, in the southern and eastern part of the cruise track (19–29°N, 152°E–165°W). In February and March 2012, only H. sericeus was collected at a density of 17,000–80,000/km2 and only in the eastern and southern part, at 25°–28°N, 169°E–178°W. No Halobates oceanic skaters were found in the western or northern part (30°N and further north, 159°E and further west) during that cruise. The lower limit for the inhabitation of sea surface temperatures appeared to be 27.8 °C or slightly lower for H. germanus and H. micans, but was 22.1 °C or slightly lower for H. sericeus. H. sericeus specimens, mostly adults, that had been collected during the two cruises were used in heat coma experiments. Summer specimens showed significantly higher heat coma temperatures (HCTs) than the winter specimens. This difference in HCTs may be the result of relatively long term temperature acclimation in the summer or winter for the adults that inhabit the temperate and subtropical areas along the cruise tracks between Tokyo and Honolulu in the Pacific Ocean. This temperature plasticity of H. sericeus may be related to the wider latitude area inhabited by this species (main range: 40°N–25°S). View Full-Text
Keywords: population density; habitation temperature range; heat coma temperature; oceanic skaters; season population density; habitation temperature range; heat coma temperature; oceanic skaters; season
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Harada, T.; Nakajo, M.; Furuki, T.; Umamoto, N.; Moku, M.; Sekimoto, T.; Katagiri, C. Seasonal Change in Distribution and Heat Coma Temperature of Oceanic Skaters, Halobates (Insecta, Heteroptera: Gerridae). Insects 2018, 9, 133.

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