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Comparative Skip-Oviposition Behavior Among Container Breeding Aedes spp. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)Yee, Donald (Ed.)Abstract Container Aedes mosquitoes are the most important vectors of human arboviruses (i.e., dengue, chikungunya, Zika, or yellow fever). Invasive and native container Aedes spp. potentially utilize natural and artificial containers in specific environments for oviposition. Several container Aedes spp. display ‘skip-oviposition’ behavior, which describes the distribution of eggs among multiple containers during a single gonotrophic cycle. In this study, we compared individual skip-oviposition behavior using identical eight-cup testing arenas with three container Aedes species: Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus), Aedes albopictus (Skuse), and Aedes triseriatus (Say). We applied the index of dispersion, an aggregation statistic, to individual mosquitoes’ oviposition patterns to assess skip-oviposition behavior. Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus utilized more cups and distributed eggs more evenly among cups than Ae. triseriatus under nutritionally enriched oviposition media (oak leaf infusion) conditions. When presented with a nutritionally unenriched (tap water) oviposition media, both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus increased egg spreading behavior. Aedes albopictus did not modify skip-oviposition behavior when reared and assessed under fall-like environmental conditions, which induce diapause egg production. This study indicates specific oviposition site conditions influence skip-oviposition behavior with ‘preferred’ sites receiving higher amounts of eggs from any given individual and ‘non-preferred’ sites receive a limited contribution ofmore »
Microplastic ingestion perturbs the microbiome of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes aegypti
Microplastics (MPs) are common environmental pollutants; however, little is known about their effects after ingestion by insects. Here we fed Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.) and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) mosquito larvae 1 µm polystyrene MPs and examined the impacts of ingestion on adult emergence rates, gut damage, and fungal and bacterial microbiota. Results show that MPs accumulate in the larval guts, resulting in gut damage. However, little impact on adult emergence rates was observed. MPs are also found in adult guts postemergence from the pupal stage, and adults expel MPs in their frass after obtaining sugar meals. Moreover, MPs effects on insect microbiomes need to be better defined. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the relationship between MP ingestion and the microbial communities in Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti. The microbiota composition was altered by the ingestion of increasing concentrations of MPs. Amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) that contributed to differences in the bacterial and fungal microbiota composition between MP treatments were from the genera Elizabethkingia and Aspergillus, respectively. Furthermore, a decrease in the alpha diversity of the fungal and bacterial microbiota was observed in treatments where larvae ingested MPs. These results highlight the potential for the bacterial andmore »
Using body size as an indicator for age structure in field populations of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)
Aedes aegyptimosquito is a vector of several viruses including dengue, chikungunya, zika, and yellow fever. Vector surveillance and control are the primary methods used for the control and prevention of disease transmission; however, public health institutions largely rely on measures of population abundance as a trigger for initiating control activities. Previous research found evidence that at the northern edge of Ae. aegypti’s geographic range, survival, rather than abundance, is likely to be the factor limiting disease transmission. In this study, we sought to test the utility of using body size as an entomological index to surveil changes in the age structure of field-collected female Aedes aegypti. Methods
We collected female
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In comparing city-specific NOAA weather data and site-specific data from HOBO remote temperature and humidity loggers, we found that HOBO data were more tightly associated with body size. This information is useful for justifying the cost of more precise weather monitoring when studying intra-population heterogeneity of eco-physiological factors. We found that body size itself was not significantly associated with age. Of all the variables measured, we found that best fitting model for age included temperature during development, body size, female abundance, and relative humidity in the 1 week prior to capture . The strength of models improved drastically when testing one city at a time, with Hermosillo (the only study city with seasonal dengue transmission) having the best fitting model for age. Despite our finding that there was a bias in the body size of mosquitoes collected alive from the BG sentinel traps that favored large females, there was still sufficient variation in the size of females collected alive to show that inclusion of this entomological indicator improved the predictive capacity of our models.
Inclusion of body size data increased the strength of weather-based models for age. Importantly, we found that variation in age was greater within cities than between cities, suggesting that modeling of age must be made on a city-by-city basis. These results contribute to efforts to use weather forecasts to predict changes in the probability of disease transmission by mosquito vectors.
Mosquitoes harbor microbial communities that play important roles in their growth, survival, reproduction, and ability to transmit human pathogens. Microbiome transplantation approaches are often used to study host-microbe interactions and identify microbial taxa and assemblages associated with health or disease. However, no such approaches have been developed to manipulate the microbiota of mosquitoes.
Here, we developed an approach to transfer entire microbial communities between mosquito cohorts. We undertook transfers between (
Culex quinquefasciatusto Aedes aegypti) and within ( Ae. aegyptito Ae. aegypti) species to validate the approach and determine the number of mosquitoes required to prepare donor microbiota. After the transfer, we monitored mosquito development and microbiota dynamics throughout the life cycle. Typical holometabolous lifestyle-related microbiota structures were observed, with higher dynamics of microbial structures in larval stages, including the larval water, and less diversity in adults. Microbiota diversity in recipient adults was also more similar to the microbiota diversity in donor adults. Conclusions
This study provides the first evidence for successful microbiome transplantation in mosquitoes. Our results highlight the value of such methods for studying mosquito-microbe interactions and lay the foundation for future studies to elucidate the factors underlying microbiota acquisition, assembly, and function in mosquitoes under controlled conditions.
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