The presence of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in the Torres Strait of northern Australia increases the potential for colonization and establishment on the mainland. However, there is a possibility that native species that occupy the same habitats may influence the population performance of Ae. albopictus, potentially affecting the establishment of this species in Australia. Cohabitation experiments were performed with the endemic Aedes notoscriptus (Skuse), which has been found occupying the same larval habitats as Ae. albopictus in the Torres Strait and is the most widespread container-inhabiting Aedes species in Australia. The influence of environmental factors and cohabitation between the two species was examined using different climates, food resource levels, food resource types, and species densities. Survivorship proportions and a population performance index (λ') were calculated and compared. The consequences of increased Ae. notoscriptus densities were reduced survivorship and λ' for Ae. albopictus. Despite this, the mean λ' of Ae. albopictus and Ae. notoscriptus was consistently ≥ 1.06, indicating both species could increase under all conditions, potentially due to increasing conspecific densities negatively affecting Ae. notoscriptus. The outcomes from this study suggest that the preexisting presence of Ae. notoscriptus may not prevent the establishment of Ae. albopictus in Australia.
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Vol. 52 • No. 3