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Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, mosquitoes, eggs, larvae, ovipositionm seasons, habitats


Understanding mechanisms fostering coexistence between invasive and resident species is important in predicting ecological, economic, or health impacts of invasive species. The non-native mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus have been resident in the southeastern United States for over a century. They coexist at some urban sites with the more recent invasive Aedes albopictus, which is usually superior in interspecific competition. We tested predictions of temporal and spatial habitat segregation that foster coexistence of these resident species with the superior invasive competitor. We measured spatial and temporal patterns of site occupancy and abundance for all three species among standard oviposition traps in metropolitan Tampa, Florida. Consistent with the condition-specific competition hypothesis, A. albopictus and A. aegypti abundances were greater and C. quinquefasciatus abundance was lower late (September) versus early (June) in the rainy season, and the proportional increase of A. albopictus abundance was greater than that of A. aegypti. These results are postulated to result from greater dry-season egg mortality and associated greater rainy-season competitive superiority of larvae of A. albopictus, followed by A. aegypti, and C. quinquefasciatus. Spatial partitioning among landscape variables was also evident among species, with A. albopictus more likely to oviposit across a range of open grass landscapes whereas A. aegypti were mostly restricted to cemeteries. Culex quinquefasciatus showed a shift in abundance from cemeteries early in the rainy season to developed areas characterized by built environments with large proportions of impervious surfaces late in the rainy season, where A. albopictus was not in its highest abundance. These results suggest that both temporal and spatial variation, and their interaction, may contribute to local coexistence between Aedes and Culex mosquito species in urban areas.

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Field work was funded by NIAID grant R01- AI-44793 (Illinois State University subaward) and by a grant to SAJ from Illinois State University. Time for analyses and authorship for PTL was funded by the University of Maryland.


First published in PLoS ONE 9(3): e91655. doi:10. 1371/journal.pone.0091655.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


10. 1371/journal.pone.0091655

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