Temperature characterization of different urban microhabitats of Aedes albopictus (Diptera Culicidae) in central-northern Italy.
Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is an invasive mosquito species that has spread to many countries in temperate regions bordering the Mediterranean basin, where it is becoming a major public health concern. A good knowledge of the thermal features of the most productive breeding sites for Ae. albopictus is crucial for a better estimation of the mosquitoes' life cycle and developmental rates. In this article, we address the problem of predicting air temperature in three microhabitats common in urban and suburban areas and the air and water temperature inside an ordinary catch basin, which is considered the most productive breeding site for Ae. albopictus in Italy. Temperature differences were statistically proven between the three microhabitats and between the catch basin external and internal temperature. The impacts on the developmental rates for each life stage of Ae. albopictus were tested through a parametric function of the temperature, and the aquatic stages resulted as being the most affected using the specific temperature inside a typical catch basin instead of a generic air temperature. The impact of snow cover on the catch basin internal temperature, and consequently on the mortality of diapausing eggs, was also evaluated. These data can be useful to improve epidemiological models for a better prediction of Ae. albopictus seasonal and population dynamics in central-northern Italian urban areas.