It generally is assumed that the daily probability of survival of wild adult mosquitoes is independent of age. To test this assumption we conducted mark-release-recapture studies in Puerto Rico and Thailand to determine if estimated daily survival rates between two different age cohorts of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (L.) were the same. Survivorship was estimated with nonlinear regression analysis using bootstrapping to obtain estimates of errors. Initial recapture success of the younger cohort was greater than the older cohort at both locations. Our analysis revealed a significantly greater survival rate for the younger cohort of females in Puerto Rico, and no significant differences between age cohorts in Thailand. For comparison, a traditional approach for analyzing these type of data, linear regression of log-transformed captures over time (exponential model), was used to calculate the probability of daily survival based on slopes of linear regression lines for recaptured mosquitoes. With this method, the estimated daily survival rate of older females (13–23 d old) was significantly greater than survival of younger ones (3–13 d old) in Puerto Rico and Thailand. In addition, short-range movement of mosquitoes was observed in Puerto Rico; maximum dispersal distance detected was 79 m. Survival rates of adult Ae. aegypti may be age-dependent and nonlinear regression analysis is a sensitive approach for comparing patterns of mosquito survival based on mark, single release, multiple recapture data.
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Vol. 38 • No. 4