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Weather variability impacts on oviposition dynamics of the southern house mosquito at intermediate time scales

  • L.F. Chaves (a1) and U.D. Kitron (a1)

Abstract

Oviposition is a major event in the life history of mosquitoes, shaping both individual fitness and vectorial capacity. Several exogenous factors have been shown as important for the dynamic forcing of oviposition at finely (hourly) and coarsely (monthly or season to season) grained temporal scales. However, field studies addressing the interplay of weather factors on oviposition dynamics at the intermediate (days to weeks) time scale are missing. Here, we present the results from a field study that showed the oviposition dynamics of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae), to be: (i) primarily dictated by relative humidity; and (ii) disrupted by rainfall events that resulted in a modified sensitivity to relative humidity. Rainfall changed the concentration of ammonia, a major limiting resource of microbes used as food by mosquito larvae. Following major rainfall events, the importance of relative humidity in forcing the oviposition dynamics also changed. Finally, our results indicate that qualitative changes in oviposition habitats modify the importance of weather variables as predictors of mosquito oviposition dynamics.

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*Author for correspondence Fax: +1-404-727-4448 E-mail: lfchave@emory.edu

References

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Weather variability impacts on oviposition dynamics of the southern house mosquito at intermediate time scales

  • L.F. Chaves (a1) and U.D. Kitron (a1)

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