Main content area

The Effects of Larval Habitat Quality on Aedes albopictus Skip Oviposition

Davis, Timothy J., Kaufman, Phillip E., Hogsette, Jerome A., Kline, Daniel L.
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 2015 v.31 no.4 pp. 321-328
Aedes albopictus, containers, eggs, females, gonotrophic cycle, habitats, larvae, oviposition, ovitraps, pathogens
Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito species that transmits human-disease–causing pathogens. It is a container-inhabiting species that oviposits in resource-limited habitats. To mitigate larval competition, Ae. albopictus females may choose to distribute eggs from a single gonotrophic cycle among multiple containers through skip oviposition. With the use of individual females released in indoor and outdoor caged trials, we evaluated the oviposition choices made by gravid Ae. albopictus offered larval habitats with different qualities. Our results demonstrate that Ae. albopictus performs skip oviposition and that the degree of egg distribution is related to the quality of the larval habitat. In a 4-choice arena, individual Ae. albopictus oviposited in fewer containers when presented with ovisites of high-quality larval habitat (uncrowded conditions) compared with oviposition in low-quality (crowded conditions) larval habitats. Additionally, the females selectively oviposited in high-quality habitats when offered both low- and high-quality habitats, but distributed eggs more evenly among multiple high-quality habitats. Our results have important implications for mosquito management plans that include the use of lethal ovitraps, as well as the role of this behavior in distribution of disease-causing pathogens.