Swarming behavior of Aedes polynesiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) and characterization of swarm markers in American Samoa

H. C. Tuten, C. M. Stone, S. L. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We characterize the swarming behavior of male Aedes polynesiensis (Marks) in American Samoa. Instead of swarming around a blood host, males used the base of certain trees as a marker. Repeated sampling proved nondestructive and allowed us to investigate the impact of static (e.g., tree species) and dynamic (e.g., barometric pressure) characters on the likelihood of swarm presence and intensity. Tree circumference and oviposition activity (number of Ae. polynesiensis reared from oviposition cups) were significant positive predictors of the number of males in a swarm. Tree circumference and diameter were significantly positively associated, and canopy height was significantly negatively associated, with swarm occurrence. Comparisons between males swarming early and late during the swarming period allowed for insight into swarm composition in terms of male size and the amount of putative fluid (e.g., nectar) in the crop, indicators of energetic reserves. Males collected during the late period had significantly larger wings and less crop contents than did males of the early cohort. Because the ecology of male Ae. polynesiensis remains understudied, we consider how the current results could facilitate further studies related to applied autocidal strategies as well as the evolution of host-based mating behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-747
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes polynesiensis
  • ecology
  • marker
  • mating
  • mosquito

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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