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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353378

Research Project: New Microbial and Plant-Based Agents for Mosquito Control

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Container size alters the outcome of interspecific competition between Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)and Aedes albopictus

Author
item Parker, Allison - University Of Maine
item Gardner, Allison - University Of Illinois
item Perez, Manuel - University Of Illinois
item Allan, Brian - University Of Illinois
item Muturi, Ephantus (juma)

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2018
Publication Date: 12/19/2018
Citation: Parker, A.T., Gardner, A.M., Perez, M., Allan, B.F., Muturi, E.J. 2018. Container size alters the outcome of interspecific competition between Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)and Aedes albopictus. Journal of Medical Entomology. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy215.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy215

Interpretive Summary: The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes aegypti are the primary vectors of dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses. These mosquito species co-occur in a variety of container-aquatic habitats where they compete for limited resources. Larvae of the Asian tiger mosquito typically outcompete those of the yellow fever mosquito but the ecological conditions of the container habitats can modify the outcome of larval competition between the two mosquito species. Here, we show that the size of the container in which larvae of the two mosquito species develop can affect the outcome of interspecific competition, whereby the negative effect of interspecific competition on the yellow fever mosquito was stronger in the small and medium containers, and the negative effect of intraspecific competition was stronger in large containers. These findings suggest that container size may be one of the primary factors accounting for the observed patterns of competition exclusion and coexistence of the two mosquito species in the field.

Technical Abstract: Aedes aegypti L. and Aedes albopictus Skuse co-occur in a variety of water-filled containers where they compete for resources. Larvae of Ae. albopictus Skuse often outcompete those of Ae. aegypti L., but variation in biotic and abiotic parameters can modify the outcome of this interspecific competition. We tested whether container size can alter the magnitude and direction of intra- and interspecific competition by rearing three Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus larval combinations (100:0, 50:50 and 0:100) in three container sizes (small, medium, and large). For both mosquito species, individuals raised in small- and medium-sized containers had shorter development time to adulthood, higher survival to adulthood, and larger adult body size compared to individuals from large containers. For Ae. aegypti but not Ae. albopictus, survival to adulthood was significantly influenced by a two-way interaction between container size and larval competition. The negative effect of interspecific competition was stronger in the small and medium containers and the negative effect of intraspecific competition was stronger in large containers. Our results show that container size can affect the outcome of intra- and interspecific competition between Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus and may help account for the observed patterns of both competitive exclusion and coexistence documented in the field for these two medically important mosquito species.