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J Vector Ecol. 2002 Jun;27(1):86-95.

Does temperature affect the outcome of larval competition between Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus?

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  • 1University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach 32962, USA.


The superior larval competitive ability of Aedes albopictus has been proposed to explain the recent displacement of Aedes aegyptiby the former species inparts of the southeastern U.S. Ae. aegypti persists, however, in sympatry with Ae. albopictus in urban areas of southern Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, and the impact of larval competition between these species has not been investigated at higher temperatures that may be characteristic of these urban environments. We compared growth and survivorship of the two species at controlled temperatures of 24 degrees and 30 degrees C in water-containing tires under conditions of intra- and interspecific competition and with or without leaf litter. When other variables were controlled statistically, the estimated finite rate of increase (lambda') was significantly higher for both species at the higher temperature, and the proportional increases in lambda' did not differ between species. Therefore, our experiment predicts that by itself, temperatures between 24 degrees and 30 degrees C would not alter the outcome of larval competition. Overall, response measures of Ae. albopictus were more sensitive than those of Ae. aegypti to the litter and species/density variables, although the development ofAe. aegypti females was uniquely retarded by a high density of its own species.

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