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Oviposition Site Selection by the Dengue Vector Aedes aegypti and Its Implications for Dengue Control

By Jacklyn Wong, Steven T. Stoddard, Helvio Astete, Amy C. Morrison and Thomas W. Scott

Abstract

Controlling the mosquito Aedes aegypti is of public health importance because, at present, it is the only means to stop dengue virus transmission. Implementing successful mosquito control programs requires understanding what factors regulate population abundance, as well as anticipating how mosquitoes may adapt to control measures. In some species of mosquitoes, females choose egg-laying sites to improve the survival and growth of their offspring, a behavior that ultimately influences population distribution and abundance. In the current study, we tested whether Ae. aegypti actively choose the containers in which they lay their eggs and determined what cues are most relevant to that process. We also explored whether females select containers that provide the most food for their larval progeny. Surprisingly, egg-laying females were most attracted to sites containing other immature Ae. aegypti, rather than to sites containing the most food. We propose that this behavior may contribute to density-dependent competition for food among larvae and play a larger role than previously thought in regulating Ae. aegypti populations. We recommend that accounting for, and even taking advantage of, this natural behavior will lead to more effective strategies for dengue prevention

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3075222
Provided by: PubMed Central

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