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1 March 2012 Developing Models for the Forage Ratios of Culiseta melanura and Culex erraticus using Species Characteristics for Avian Hosts
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Abstract

Studies of mosquito preferences for avian hosts have found that some bird species are at greater risk than others of being fed upon by mosquitoes. The ecological factors that determine this interspecific variation in avian host use by mosquitoes have been little studied, despite the possibility that such variation may influence spatial and temporal patterns of the occurrence of mosquito-borne pathogens. Our objective was to identify ecological variables associated with the avian host forage ratios estimated from a previous study of mosquito feeding patterns in Tuskegee National Forest, AL. We used species' characteristics derived from the literature to develop multiple linear regression models for the forage ratios of Culiseta melanura (Coquillett) and Culex erraticus (Dyar & Knab) for avian hosts. We found that habitat-edge association and body mass of avian host species were the best predictors of forage ratios of Cx. erraticus for avian hosts. Although no avian host traits were inferred to be strong predictors of forage ratios of Cs. melanura, body mass had the greatest importance weight among those considered. Our results suggest that characteristics of avian hosts may predict their levels of use by some mosquito species.

© 2012 Entomological Society of America
Laura K. Estep, Christopher J. W. McClure, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena, Hassan K. Hassan, Thomas R. Unnasch, and Geoffrey E. Hill "Developing Models for the Forage Ratios of Culiseta melanura and Culex erraticus using Species Characteristics for Avian Hosts," Journal of Medical Entomology 49(2), 378-387, (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.1603/ME11155
Received: 25 July 2011; Accepted: 1 December 2011; Published: 1 March 2012
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