Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) has not become the dominant species in artificial container habitats in a temperate forest more than a decade after establishment.

Abstract

Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is one of the most invasive species globally, and has led to rapid declines and local extirpations of resident mosquitoes where it becomes established. A potential mechanism behind these displacements is the superior competitive ability of Ae. albopictus in larval habitats. Research on the context-dependent nature of competitive displacement predicts that Ae. albopictus will not replace native Aedes triseriatus (Say) (Diptera: Culicidae) in treeholes but could do so in artificial container habitats. Aedes albopictus remains rare in temperate treeholes but less is known about how Ae. albopictus fares in artificial containers in forests. Tyson Research Center (TRC) is a field station composed of mostly oak-hickory forest located outside Saint Louis, MO. The container community has been studied regularly at TRC since 2007 with permanently established artificial containers on the property since 2013. Aedes albopictus was detected each year when these communities were sampled; however, its abundance remains low and it fails to numerically dominate other species in these communities. We present data that show Ae. albopictus numbers have not increased in the last decade. We compare egg counts from 2007 to 2016 and combine larval sample data from 2012 to 2017. We present average larval densities and prevalence of Ae. albopictus and two competitors, Ae. triseriatus and Aedes japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae), as well as monthly averages by year. These data highlight a circumstance in which Ae. albopictus fails to dominate the Aedes community despite it doing so in more human-impacted habitats. We present hypotheses for these patterns based upon abiotic and biotic environmental conditions.