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Larval interference competition between the native Neotropical mosquito Limatus durhamii and the invasive Aedes aegypti improves the fitness of both species

Talaga S., Déjean A., Mouza C., Dumont Y., Leroy C.. 2018. Insect Science, 25 (6) : p. 1102-1107.

Interspecific competition with native species during biological invasions can sometimes limit alien expansion. We aimed to determine the potential ecological effects of Limatus durhamii Theobald 1901, a native Neotropical mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) species, on the invasive species Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (Linnaeus 1762) that breeds in the same artificial water containers. Development time and adult dry mass were measured in three rearing conditions: control (a single larva), intraspecific competition (two conspecific larvae), and interspecific competition (two heterospecific larvae). Food was provided ad libitum to eliminate exploitative competition. For Ae. aegypti, development time was not affected by interspecific interference competition (non-significant differences with the control) and the adult dry mass was significantly higher, meaning that individual fitness likely increased. Yet, because previous studies showed longer development time and lighter adults during competition with other invasive mosquitoes, it is likely that Ae. aegypti can express a different phenotype depending on the competing species. The similar pattern found for Li. durhamii females and the non-significant difference with the control for males explain in part why this species can compete with Ae. aegypti.

Mots-clés : développement biologique; larve; expérimentation en laboratoire; culicidae; espèce envahissante; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; phénotype; Écologie animale; compétition biologique; compétition interspécifique; aedes aegypti; guyane française; limatus durhamii

Thématique : Organismes nuisibles des animaux; Ecologie animale

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