Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.) and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) larvae rely on oxidases to reduce toxicity of water soluble toxins from some senescent tree leaf infusions. The mortality of third instar Ae. aegypti larvae in live oak and pin oak leaf infusions increased significantly in the presence of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a broad inhibitor of cytochrome P450s (CYPs). In contrast, PBO treatment did not increase mortality in water controls or infusions of northern red oak or sugar maple leaf infusions for Ae. aegypti larvae. A similar pattern was observed for Ae. albopictus larvae, that is, an increase in mortality when CYPs were inhibited in live oak leaf infusions and no increase in sugar maple leaf infusions or water controls. However, the fresh live oak leaf infusion (5 d old) was the most toxic infusion to Ae. aegypti, but appeared less toxic to Ae. albopictus than the older infusions. A direct comparison of survival between the two Aedes species revealed Ae. aegypti exhibited a greater mortality than Ae. albopictus in PBO-treated live oak leaf infusions. These findings suggest that toxic components of some leaf litter in larval habitats may impose cryptic energy costs (detoxification).
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Vol. 51 • No. 1