Larval Competition Between Aedes and Culex sp. (Diptera: Culicidae) found in Texas on Artificial Diets
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are notorious vectors of diseases that pose serious threats to human health, making them highly relevant topics of study within many research laboratories. Studies to further understand mosquito biology and ecology are vital to develop more cohesive epidemiological models and effective methods of vector control, making the need for a fuller understanding of interspecies larval competition and its effect on mosquito fitness particularly important. In this experiment, the ability of resource procurement of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae was tested against interspecies competition in a laboratory setting in an attempt to determine which species would show an increased fecundity specifically in a lab setting. Eggs of each species were reared till adulthood and their numbers of emergence were recorded in order to observe the effects of interspecies competition in the larval stage on fitness. Results collected concerning larval mortality showed no obvious advantage for either species, showing similar rates of survival despite competition for food resources. These results suggest that the two species are relatively equally matched at the larval stage, but further refined experiments and analysis are required to ascertain the full effects of competition between these species.
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