Wolbachia effects on Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) immature survivorship and development.
Wolbachia bacteria manipulate the reproduction of mosquito hosts via a form of sterility known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), promoting the spread of infections into host populations. The rate at which an infection invades is affected by host fitness costs associated with the Wolbachia infection. Here, we examine for an effect of Wolbachia infection on the immature fitness of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae). In two experiments, we examine for a Wolbachia effect on immature survivorship and developmental rate, adult size, and an effect of larval nutrition on CI level. The highest survivorship can be observed in uninfected larvae, primarily because of reduced survivorship of Wolbachia-infected males. Although differences in the developmental rates are observed between the examined strains, the differences cannot be readily attributed to Wolbachia. An effect of Wolbachia on adult size is not observed. Poor male nutrition is associated with reduced fecundity and egg hatch of mates. The latter is hypothesized to explain the reduced egg hatch observed in CI crosses of malnourished males relative to well fed males. We discuss the results in relation to previously identified differences in adult fitness, naturally occurring invasions of Wolbachia, applied strategies of population replacement, and the need for additional modeling effort.