skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 10:00 PM ET on Friday, December 8 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, December 9 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Comparative Skip-Oviposition Behavior Among Container Breeding Aedes spp. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)
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 of eggs. A further understanding of skip-oviposition behavior is needed to make the best use of autodissemination trap technology in which skip-ovipositing females spread a potent larvicide among oviposition sites within the environment.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Yee, Donald
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Medical Entomology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Container Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of anthroponotic and zoonotic viruses to people. The surveillance and control of these mosquitoes is an important part of public health protection and prevention of mosquito-borne disease. In this study, we surveyed 327 sites over 2 weeks in late June and early July in 2017 in North Carolina, USA for the presence and abundance of Aedes spp. eggs in an effort to better target potential Ae. aegypti collections. We examined the ability of 2 types of landscape data, Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) and National Land Cover Database (NLCD) to explain the presence and abundance of eggs using principal component analysis to deal with collinearity, followed by generalized linear regression. We explained variation of both egg presence and abundance for Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and Aedes triseriatus (Say) using both NLCD and LIDAR data. However, the ability to make robust predictions was limited by variation in the data. Increased sampling time and better landscape data would likely improve the predictive ability of our models, as would a better understanding of oviposition behavior. 
    more » « less
  2. Hamer, Gabriel (Ed.)
    Abstract Many species distribution maps indicate the ranges of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) overlap in Florida despite the well-documented range reduction of Ae. aegypti. Within the last 30 yr, competitive displacement of Ae. aegypti by Ae. albopictus has resulted in partial spatial segregation of the two species, with Ae. aegypti persisting primarily in urban refugia. We modeled fine-scale distributions of both species, with the goal of capturing the outcome of interspecific competition across space by building habitat suitability maps. We empirically parameterized models by sampling 59 sites in south and central Florida over time and incorporated climatic, landscape, and human population data to identify predictors of habitat suitability for both species. Our results show human density, precipitation, and urban land cover drive Ae. aegypti habitat suitability, compared with exclusively climatic variables driving Ae. albopictus habitat suitability. Remotely sensed variables (macrohabitat) were more predictive than locally collected metrics (microhabitat), although recorded minimum daily temperature showed significant, inverse relationships with both species. We detected minor Aedes habitat segregation; some periurban areas that were highly suitable for Ae. albopictus were unsuitable for Ae. aegypti. Fine-scale empirical models like those presented here have the potential for precise risk assessment and the improvement of operational applications to control container-breeding Aedes mosquitoes. 
    more » « less
  3. (1) Background: Condition-specific competition, when the outcome of competition varies with abiotic conditions, can facilitate species coexistence in spatially or temporally variable environments. Discarded vehicle tires degrade to leach contaminants into collected rainwater that provide habitats for competing mosquito species. We tested the hypothesis that more highly degraded tires that contain greater tire leachate alters interspecific mosquito competition to produce a condition-specific advantage for the resident, Culex pipiens, by altering the outcome of competition with the competitively superior invasive Aedes albopictus. (2) Methods: In a competition trial, varying densities of newly hatched Ae. albopictus and Cx. pipiens larvae were added to tires that had been exposed to three different ultraviolet (UV)-B conditions that mimicked full-sun, shade, or no UV-B conditions in the field. We also measured Cx. pipiens and Ae. albopictus oviposition preference among four treatments with varying tire leachate (high and low) and resources (high and low) amounts to determine if adult gravid females avoided habitats with higher tire leachate. (3) Results: We found stronger competitive effects of Cx. pipiens on the population performance and survival of Ae. albopictus in tires exposed to shade and full-sun conditions that had higher concentrations of contaminants. Further, zinc concentration was higher in emergent adults of Ae. albopictus than Cx. pipiens. Oviposition by these species was similar between tire leachate treatments but not by resource amount. (4) Conclusions: These results suggest that degraded tires with higher tire leachate may promote condition-specific competition by reducing the competitive advantage of invasive Ae. albopictus over resident Cx. pipiens and, combined with Cx. pipiens’ preferential oviposition in higher resource sites, contribute to the persistence of the resident species. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Manipulating mosquito reproduction is a promising approach to reducing mosquito populations and the burden of diseases they carry. A thorough understanding of reproductive processes is necessary to develop such strategies, but little is known about how sperm are processed and prepared for fertilization within female mosquitoes. By employing cryo-electron microscopy for the first time to study sperm of the mosquitoAedes aegypti, we reveal that sperm shed their entire outer coat, the glycocalyx, within 24 hours of being stored in the female. Motility assays demonstrate that as their glycocalyx is shed in the female’s sperm storage organs, sperm transition from a period of dormancy to rapid motility—a critical prerequisite for sperm to reach the egg. We also show that females gradually become fertile as sperm become motile, and that oviposition behavior increases sharply after females reach peak fertility. Together, these experiments demonstrate a striking coincidence of the timelines of several reproductive events inAe. aegypti, suggesting a direct relationship between sperm modification and female reproductive capacity.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract Laboratory and field-based studies of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus demonstrate its competency to transmit over twenty different pathogens linked to a broad range of vertebrate hosts. The vectorial capacity of Ae. albopictus to transmit these pathogens remains unclear, partly due to knowledge gaps regarding its feeding behavior. Blood meal analyses from field-captured specimens have shown vastly different feeding patterns, with a wide range of anthropophagy (human feeding) and host diversity. To address this knowledge gap, we asked whether differences in innate host preference may drive observed variation in Ae. albopictus feeding patterns in nature. Low generation colonies (F2–F4) were established with field-collected mosquitoes from three populations with high reported anthropophagy (Thailand, Cameroon, and Florida, USA) and three populations in the United States with low reported anthropophagy (New York, Maryland, and Virginia). The preference of these Ae. albopictus colonies for human versus non-human animal odor was assessed in a dual-port olfactometer along with control Ae. aegypti colonies already known to show divergent behavior in this assay. All Ae. albopictus colonies were less likely (p < 0.05) to choose the human-baited port than the anthropophilic Ae. aegypti control, instead behaving similarly to zoophilic Ae. aegypti . Our results suggest that variation in reported Ae. albopictus feeding patterns are not driven by differences in innate host preference, but may result from differences in host availability. This work is the first to compare Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti host preference directly and provides insight into differential vectorial capacity and human feeding risk. 
    more » « less