Influence of leaf detritus type on production and longevity of container-breeding mosquitoes

Ephantus J. Muturi, Brian F. Allan, James Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Freshwater ecosystems are positioned at low levels in the landscape and receive large inputs of diverse plant-based detritus, a major source of energy for consumers in aquatic ecosystems. We conducted field experiments in Urbana, IL to determine the independent and combined effects of leaves of common tree species including the northern red oak (Quercus rubraL.), sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall), and common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis L.) on the performance of containerdwelling mosquitoes, especially Culex restuans Theobald (Diptera: Culicidae). We tested the hypothesis that leaf species have asymmetric effects on adult mosquito production and longevity. Hackberry followed by combined leaf treatments and maple produced the greatest number of pupae, whereas oak leaves produced the fewest. Leaf treatments had no significant effects on adult female sizes but female longevity was significantly lower in oak leaf treatments compared with the other leaf treatments. These findings support the hypothesis that leaf species identity influences the performance of container-dwelling mosquitoes with potential consequences for the transmission of infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1068
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Detritus
  • bottom-up effects
  • longevity
  • mosquitoes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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