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Interspecific competition between container sharing mosquito larvae, Aedes aegypti (L.), Aedes polynesiensis Marks, and Culex quinquefasciatus Say, in Moorea, French Polynesia

  • Author(s): Pocock, Katherine
  • et al.
Abstract

The interspecific competition between three container sharing mosquitoes was investigated to further understand the reasoning for ovipositing partitioning previously analyzed. Past studies have demonstrated distinct difference in larval use of containers between Aedes aegypti and Aedes polynesiensis, preferring artificial and natural containers, respectively. Additionally, Culex quinquefasciatus is present in both types of containers. It was hypothesized that this partitioning was the result of interspecific competition between the species. To analyze this, two treatments were conducted to induce competition; food limiting (between Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis) and space limiting (between all three species), with the emergence rates being the calculated variable. ANOVA tests revealed that when food is present, Ae. polynesiensis competes better interspecifically than intraspecifically, suggesting that competitive displacement occurs in natural containers. It was also found that a space limiting environment does not provide a statistical significant difference between the emergence times of Ae. aegypti, Ae. polynesiensis, and Cx. quinquefasciatus, providing that larval density does not induce competition between these three species and therefore cannot be used to analyze theories for ovipositing partitioning.

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