Nutritional Factors Affecting Survivorship and Pupation Rates in Aedes triseriatus
Minuth, John T.
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Aedes triseriatus is a medically important mosquito species for research as it is a carrier of the La crosse encephalitis virus. In nature, less than 10% of larvae eventually emerge as adults. In this experiment, tree hole habitats were simulated to determine what nutrients were needed for larvae to survive and successfully pupate. Nutrients were added to simulated habitats in the lab. These additions (in encapsulated forms) included protein, cholesterol, cod liver oil (a lipid mixture), palmitic acid and inert glass beads (as a control). Other nutrient additions included glucose and inorganic ions in concentrations found in stemflow (rainwater that runs into tree holes from the sides of trees). Cholesterol was the only treatment that had significantly increased rates of pupation as compared to the controls (ANOVA, p < 0.050). While control treatments showed no pupae, 100% of larvae treated with cholesterol capsules pupated within 40 days. Results from these treatments indicate that protein, cholesterol, cod liver oil and both stemflow products (glucose and inorganic ions) were able to increase larval survivorship and weights relative to the controls. Palmitic acid increased the mortality rate as compared to the controls, but this was possibly due to the handling of the larvae during treatment. These results suggest that sterols are possibly the limiting nutrients (for successful pupation) in A. triseriatus habitats.