Habitat preferences and phenology of Ochlerotatus triseriatus and Aedes albopictus (Diptera

Culicidae) in southwestern Virginia

Chris Barker, S. L. Paulson, S. Cantrell, B. S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, the number of reported human cases of La Crosse encephalitis, an illness caused by mosquito-borne La Crosse virus (LAC), has increased in southwestern Virginia, resulting in a need for better understanding of the virus cycle and the biology of its vectors in the region. This study examined the spatial and temporal distributions of the primary vector of LAC, Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Say), and a potential secondary vector, Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Ovitrapping surveys were conducted in 1998 and 1999 to determine distributions and oviposition habitat preferences of the two species in southwestern Virginia. Mosquitoes also were collected for virus assay from a tire dump and a human La Crosse encephalitis case site between 1998 and 2000. Oc. triseriatus and Ae. albopictus were collected from all ovitrap sites surveyed, and numbers of Oc. triseriatus eggs generally were higher than those of Ae. albopictus. Numbers of Oc. triseriatus remained high during most of the summer, while Ae. albopictus numbers increased gradually, reaching a peak in late August and declining thereafter. In Wise County, relative Ae. albopictus abundance was highest in sites with traps placed in open residential areas. Lowest numbers of both species were found in densely forested areas. Ovitrapping during consecutive years revealed that Ae. albopictus was well established and overwintering in the area. An oviposition comparison between the yard and adjacent forest at a human La Crosse encephalitis case site in 1999 showed that Ae. albopictus preferentially oviposited in the yard surrounding the home, but Oc. triseriatus showed no preference. LAC isolations from larval and adult collections of Oc. triseriatus females from the same case site indicated the occurrence of transovarial transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Fingerprint

Ochlerotatus
La Crosse virus
Aedes albopictus
Aedes
Encephalitis
habitat preferences
Culicidae
Diptera
Ecosystem
phenology
Oviposition
California encephalitis virus
Viruses
encephalitis
Eggs
oviposition
transovarial transmission
ovitraps
viruses
residential areas

Keywords

  • Aedes albopictus
  • Arbovirus
  • Encephalitis
  • La Crosse virus
  • Ochlerotatus triseriatus
  • Oviposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Habitat preferences and phenology of Ochlerotatus triseriatus and Aedes albopictus (Diptera : Culicidae) in southwestern Virginia. / Barker, Chris; Paulson, S. L.; Cantrell, S.; Davis, B. S.

In: Journal of Medical Entomology, Vol. 40, No. 4, 01.01.2003, p. 403-410.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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abstract = "Recently, the number of reported human cases of La Crosse encephalitis, an illness caused by mosquito-borne La Crosse virus (LAC), has increased in southwestern Virginia, resulting in a need for better understanding of the virus cycle and the biology of its vectors in the region. This study examined the spatial and temporal distributions of the primary vector of LAC, Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Say), and a potential secondary vector, Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Ovitrapping surveys were conducted in 1998 and 1999 to determine distributions and oviposition habitat preferences of the two species in southwestern Virginia. Mosquitoes also were collected for virus assay from a tire dump and a human La Crosse encephalitis case site between 1998 and 2000. Oc. triseriatus and Ae. albopictus were collected from all ovitrap sites surveyed, and numbers of Oc. triseriatus eggs generally were higher than those of Ae. albopictus. Numbers of Oc. triseriatus remained high during most of the summer, while Ae. albopictus numbers increased gradually, reaching a peak in late August and declining thereafter. In Wise County, relative Ae. albopictus abundance was highest in sites with traps placed in open residential areas. Lowest numbers of both species were found in densely forested areas. Ovitrapping during consecutive years revealed that Ae. albopictus was well established and overwintering in the area. An oviposition comparison between the yard and adjacent forest at a human La Crosse encephalitis case site in 1999 showed that Ae. albopictus preferentially oviposited in the yard surrounding the home, but Oc. triseriatus showed no preference. LAC isolations from larval and adult collections of Oc. triseriatus females from the same case site indicated the occurrence of transovarial transmission.",
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