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J Med Entomol. 2008 Jan;45(1):20-7.

Interspecific competition between larval Culex restuans Theobald and Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae) in Michigan.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Many invasive species succeed in becoming established in new locations because of their competitive superiority to native species. This has been shown in several examples involving mosquitoes. In this study, we examined the interspecific competition between mosquito larvae of a well-established, non-native species, Culex pipiens, and those of its ecologically similar, native congener Culex restuans. Small but significant differences in survival, growth, and development rates were found in Cx. restuans as a response to varying proportions of Cx. pipiens, suggesting that Cx. restuans is a slightly superior competitor. However, the overall differences between the species were small, and they may be nearly ecological equivalents as larvae. Nevertheless, the observed seasonal pattern of feeding and oviposition activity suggests some phenological avoidance of competition, thus demanding further study of the interaction of these two species.

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