The effect of a protracted dry season on the viability of Ae. aegypti (L.) eggs was examined in Townsville, northern Queensland, Australia. Eggs were placed in several different surface and subterranean larval habitats; and after four dry season months, only 1–10% of eggs remained viable in the surface and subterranean sites, respectively. Low humidity and predation by Periplaneta americana (L.) were the major causes of egg mortality in eggs in surface sites. P. americana was the most significant cause of egg predation in subterranean breeding sites but fungi, especially Penicillium citrinum Thom, covered egg batches within 15 d. Mycotoxins produced by the spores of P. citrinum are believed to have killed embryonating eggs. The high mortality rate of Ae. aegypti eggs during the dry season suggests that this survival strategy is unlikely to contribute to rapid and successful recolonization of surface sites at the end of the wet season.
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