Author(s): Liew C, Curtis CF
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Abstract To study the dispersal of dengue vector mosquitoes in Singapore, females of Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) were fed blood containing rubidium (Rb), which was detectable in their eggs by means of Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (GFAAS). Laboratory calibration of the Rb reading, for a range of egg numbers from Rb-fed females, indicated a reasonably linear relationship and an unequivocal distinction between results with zero and one marked egg. Rb-marked female Aedes mosquitoes aged 3-5 days were released in semi-rural and urbanized parts of Singapore, with an array of ovitraps extending to a radius of 320 m from the release point. Subsequently, Rb-marked Aedes eggs were detected throughout the array, with similar distributions on each of the 4 days after release. More Rb was detected nearer the release point. However, when correction was made for the greater areas of zones further from the release point (and therefore presumably existence of more alternative oviposition sites), there were no significant differences in the numbers of marked eggs per ovitrap in the zones nearer or further from the release points. It is concluded that females of both these Aedes (Stegomyia) species could disperse easily and quickly throughout areas of radius 320 m in search of oviposition sites. This contrasts with the general belief that Ae. aegypti seldom flies more than 50 m and that control operations can safely be based on such an assumption. Releases on level 12 of a 21-storey apartment block, with ovitraps on each storey, showed similar easy and rapid dispersal to the top and bottom of the block.
This article was published in Med Vet Entomol
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health