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Ann Entomol Soc Am. 2004 Jan;97(1):194-201.

Differential Behavioral Responses to Water-Borne Cues to Predation in Two Container-Dwelling Mosquitoes.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Section, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4120.


Larvae of the mosquito Toxorhynchites rutilus (Coquillett) prey upon other container-dwelling insects, including larvae of Aedes albopictus (Skuse), which is native to Asia but was introduced into the United States, and on the native tree hole mosquito Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Say). Previous work has established that O. triseriatus adopts low-risk behaviors in the presence of predation risk from T. rutilus. It is unknown whether introduced A. albopictus show a similar response to this predator. Behavior of fourth instars of A. albopictus or O. triseriatus was recorded in water that had held either A. albopictus or O. triseriatus larvae alone (control) and in water that had held T. rutilus larvae feeding on either A. albopictus or O. triseriatus (predation). Activity and position of larvae were recorded in 30-min instantaneous scan censuses. In response to water-borne cues to predation, O. triseriatus adopted low-risk behaviors (more resting, less feeding and movement), but A. albopictus did not change its behavior. We also tested the species specificity of the cues by recording the behavior of A. albopictus in water prepared using O. triseriatus and vice versa. O. triseriatus adopted low-risk behaviors even in predation water prepared by feeding T. rutilus with A. albopictus, but A. albopictus did not alter its behavior significantly between predation and control treatments prepared using O. triseriatus. Thus, A. albopictus does not seem to respond behaviorally to cues produced by this predator and may be more vulnerable to predation than is O. triseriatus.

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