Aquatic prey show behavioral modifications in the presence of predation-risk cues that alleviate their risk from predation. Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes japonicus (Theobald), and Culex pipieos L. are invasive mosquitoes in North America, and their larvae are prey for the native mosquito predator, Toxorhynchites rutilus (Coquillett). Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus are recent invaders, whereas Cx. pipiens has been in the United States for >100 yr. In the presence of predation-risk cues from Tx. rutilus larvae, Cx. pipiens larvae increased the time spent resting at the surface (least risky behavior) more than the other prey species. Ae. japonicus larvae increased resting at the surface of the containers more than Ae. albopictus larvae in the presence of predation-risk cues. Cx. pipiens larvae spent more time motionless at the surface even in the absence of predation-risk cues when compared with the other species, indicating that Cx. pipiens larvae are the least vulnerable prey. As compared with the other prey species, Ae. albopictus larvae exhibited more high-risk behaviors both in the presence and absence of predation-risk cues, indicating that they are the most vulnerable prey. Ae. albopictus is the superior competitor; however, predation by Tx. rutilus larvae may prevent competitive exclusion by Ae. albopictus and promote coexistence among the three prey species.
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