Utilization of larval and pupal detritus by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

Jeffrey J. Bara, T. M. Clark, S. K. Remold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The utilization of detritus sources by mosquito larvae during development may significantly affect adult life history traits and mosquito population growth. Many studies have shown invertebrate carcasses to be an important detritus source in larval habitats, but little is known regarding how invertebrate carcasses are utilized by mosquito larvae. We conducted two studies to investigate the rate of detritus consumption and its effect on larval development and life history traits. Overall, we found that Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus larvae rapidly consumed larval detritus, while pupal detritus was consumed at a significantly slower rate. We also found that the consumption of larval detritus significantly increased larval survivorship and decreased male development time but did not significantly influence female development time or pupal cephalothorax length for either sex. Our results suggest that the direct consumption of larval detritus can support the production of adults in larval habitats that lack allochthonous detritus inputs or where such organic inputs are insufficient. These studies indicate that different forms of invertebrate detritus are utilized in distinct ways by mosquito larvae, and therefore different forms of invertebrate detritus may have distinct effects on larval development and adult life history traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-47
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • INHS
  • Ae. albopictus
  • Larval development
  • Ae. aegypti
  • Invertebrate detritus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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