Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) invaded the United States in 1985 and spread rapidly across eastern North America, whereas Aedes japonicus (Theobald) invaded and became established in the United States more recently (1998). The two species may co-occur in container habitats, and they are of potential public health concern as arbovirus vectors. To evaluate ecological differences between Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus, we compared larval foraging behavior of these two species. Based on results from a previous competition experiment, we predicted that Ae. albopictus would be a more active forager than Ae. japonicus. However, Ae. japonicus exhibited greater foraging activity than Ae. albopictus in four of six food environments, including a “no food” control treatment. Our results, therefore, suggest that more active foraging does not connote superior competitive ability, and competitive interactions between these species may be mediated by factors other than feeding behavior.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6