, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 709-719
Date: 03 Jun 2010

Oviposition Responses of the Mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to Experimental Plant Infusions in Laboratory Bioassays

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Abstract

Attraction of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus to plant infusions was evaluated by using a modified sticky-screen bioassay that improved the resolution of mosquito responses to odorants. Under bioassay conditions, solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatographic analyses of the volatile marker chemical indole showed that odorants diffused from bioassay cups, forming a concentration gradient. Infusions were prepared by separately fermenting senescent leaves of eight plant species in well water. Plant infusions were evaluated over an 8-fold range of leaf biomass and/or a 28 d fermentation period. The responses of gravid females of both mosquito species varied with the plant species and biomass of plant materials used to make infusions, and with the length of the fermentation period. Infusions made from senescent bamboo (Arundinaria gigantea) and white oak (Quercus alba) leaves were significantly attractive to both mosquitoes. In general, infusions prepared by using low biomass of plant material over a 7–14 d fermentation period were most attractive to Ae. aegypti. In contrast, Ae. albopictus was attracted to infusions made using a wider range of plant biomass and over a longer fermentation period. Both mosquito species were more attracted to a non-sterile white oak leaf infusion than to white oak leaf infusion that was prepared using sterilized plant material and water, thus suggesting a role for microbial activity in the production of odorants that mediate the oviposition response of gravid mosquitoes.