Container type affects mosquito (diptera: culicidae) oviposition choice

Allison T. Parker, Kelsey McGill, Brian F. Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Larvae of container-breeding mosquitoes develop in a wide range of container habitats found in residential neighborhoods. Different mosquito species may exhibit preference for different container types and sizes. Due to phenological differences, species composition in container habitats may change over time. We first conducted weekly neighborhood container surveys to determine the types of container habitats found in residential neighborhoods, and to determine mosquito species composition over time within these habitats. We then conducted an oviposition choice field assay to determine whether female mosquitoes of different species preferentially oviposit in different container types commonly found in neighborhoods. Halfway through the experiment, the largest container was removed at half the sites to test the hypothesis that incomplete source reduction alters oviposition preference among the remaining containers. In the neighborhood surveys, large containers had the greatest mosquito densities and the highest species richness. Aedes albopictus (Skuse), the most commonly collected mosquito, was found in all container types. The oviposition experiment indicated that Culex spp. females preferentially oviposit in large containers. When the largest container was removed, the total number of egg rafts decreased. Aedes spp. females preferred to oviposit in large- and medium-sized containers, but the total number of eggs laid did not change when the large container was removed. These results confirm that understanding habitat preferences of container-breeding mosquitoes is important to control efforts targeting vector species and that incomplete removal of container habitats may have unpredictable consequences for the distribution of juveniles among remaining habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1459-1467
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Container type
  • Mosquito
  • Oviposition choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Veterinary
  • Parasitology


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