Container Aedes mosquitoes are the most important vectors of human arboviruses (i.e., dengue, chikungunya, Zika, or yellow fever). Invasive and native container Aedes spp. potentially utilize natural and artificial containers in specific environments for oviposition. Several container Aedes spp. display ‘skip-oviposition’ behavior, which describes the distribution of eggs among multiple containers during a single gonotrophic cycle. In this study, we compared individual skip-oviposition behavior using identical eight-cup testing arenas with three container Aedes species: Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus), Aedes albopictus (Skuse), and Aedes triseriatus (Say). We applied the index of dispersion, an aggregation statistic, to individual mosquitoes’ oviposition patterns to assess skip-oviposition behavior. Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus utilized more cups and distributed eggs more evenly among cups than Ae. triseriatus under nutritionally enriched oviposition media (oak leaf infusion) conditions. When presented with a nutritionally unenriched (tap water) oviposition media, both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus increased egg spreading behavior. Aedes albopictus did not modify skip-oviposition behavior when reared and assessed under fall-like environmental conditions, which induce diapause egg production. This study indicates specific oviposition site conditions influence skip-oviposition behavior with ‘preferred’ sites receiving higher amounts of eggs from any given individual and ‘non-preferred’ sites receive a limited contribution of eggs. A further understanding of skip-oviposition behavior is needed to make the best use of autodissemination trap technology in which skip-ovipositing females spread a potent larvicide among oviposition sites within the environment.
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Vol. 58 • No. 6