Successional mosquito dynamics in surrogate treehole and ground-container habitats in the northeastern United States: where does Aedes albopictus fit in?
This study assessed the risk of larval displacement of the eastern treehole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus, and the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, by Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, during the establishment and successional stages of novel larval mosquito treehole and ground-container habitats in the state of New Jersey, U.S.A. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans were the first mosquito species to colonize ground-container habitats and were the dominant larval species throughout the study period, whereas Ae. albopictus was late to colonize ground habitats and accounted for less than 15% of weekly larval collections once established. Ae. albopictus had a much stronger community presence within treehole ovitraps; however, Ae. albopictus never reached the average larval densities of the expected primary colonizer, Ae. triseriatus. Throughout the study period, the weekly abundances of Ae. triseriatus and Ae. albopictus were positively correlated and there were no significant differences between the abundances of each species. The larval dominance of Ae. triseriatus appears to be enhanced by the presence of Toxorhynchites rutilus septentrionalis, a large predatory mosquito species. When Tx. rut. septentrionalis was present, mature larvae (3rd-4th instar) of Ae. albopictus were also present in only 16.7% of collections, whereas mature larvae of Ae. triseriatus were collected concurrently with Tx. rut. septentrionalis in 53.8% of collections. These data suggest that Ae. triseriatus is at a greater risk of displacement by Ae. albopictus than are Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans.