Pesticide-induced release from competition among competing Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)

Barry W. Alto, Richard L. Lampman, Banugopan Kesavaraju, Ephantus J. Muturi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competitive interactions between mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) may depend on environmental conditions. Pesticides may alleviate density-dependent competition for limited food, and a differential species response to sublethal concentrations may modify interspecific competition. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to malathion alters interspecific resource competition between these two species. In the absence of malathion, Ae. aegypti survivorship and per capita rate of population change were negatively affected by increasing densities of Ae. albopictus. However, the asymmetrical negative effect of Ae. albopictus on Ae. aegypti was eliminated in the presence of malathion. In addition, the presence of malathion resulted in shorter development time compared with the controls. The relative importance of pesticide-mediated coexistence in nature has not been evaluated, so its role in mediating coexistence is unclear; however, these findings underscore the potential of environmental concentrations of malathion, and perhaps other pesticides to facilitate coexistence between species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1249
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aedes albopictus
  • Malathion
  • Release from competition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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