Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 359–363 | Cite as

Behavioural functions of grooming in male Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae), the Asian tiger mosquito

  • Maxime Jacquet
  • Cyrille Lebon
  • Guy Lemperiere
  • Sébastien Boyer
Original Research Paper


Flight, walking and resting behaviours of male Aedes albopictus (Skuse) were observed in a flight cage. These behaviours were also associated with repetitive acts of grooming. The effects of sugar meal and period of the day on the total duration, the frequency and the duration of each individual grooming behaviour were studied. Fed or unfed males were individually released in a transparent plastic flight cage and direct visual observations using Observer software were carried out for 2 h during the morning and 2 h in the afternoon. There was no significant difference in the grooming behaviour between morning and afternoon observations. Fed male mosquitoes groomed longer than unfed males. The sugar meal seemed an important influencing factor of the grooming behaviour by giving more energy and making different parts of the mosquito sticky. The functions of grooming behaviour are discussed in regard to other behaviours such as mating, copulation, sensory detection and flight.


Diptera Mosquito Aedes albopictus Grooming Behaviour 



We thank Lucie Maillot for her help during the laboratory work. The IRD Sterile Insect Technique Project was financially supported by the French Ministry of Health and the FEDER Convergence Réunion 2007-2012 programme.


  1. Barber GW, Starnes EB (1949) The activity of house flies. J N Y Entomol Soc 57:203–214Google Scholar
  2. Benedict M, Levine RS, Hawley W, Lounibos LP (2007) Spread of the tiger: global risk of invasion by the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Vect Borne Zoon Dis 7:76–85. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2006.0562 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonilauri P, Bellini R, Calzolari M, Angeflni R et al (2008) Chikungunya virus in Aedes albopictus, Italy. Emerg Infect Dis 14:852–854PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyer S, Gilles J, Merancienne D, Fontenille D, Lemperiere G (2011) Sexual performance of male Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Med Vet Entomol 25:454–459. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2011.00962.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cator LJ, Arthur BJ, Harrington LC, Hoy RR (2009) Harmonic convergence in the love songs of the dengue vector mosquito. Science 323:1077–1079. doi: 10.1126/science.1166541 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Delatte H, Paupy C, Dehecq JS, Thiria J, Failloux AB, Fontenille D (2008) Aedes albopictus, vector of chikungunya and dengue viruses in Reunion Island: biology and control. Parasite J Soc Française Parasitol 15:3–13Google Scholar
  7. Delatte H, Desvars A, Bouetard A, Bord S, Gimonneau G, Vourc’h G, Fontenille D (2010) Blood-feeding behavior of Aedes albopictus, a vector of Chikungunya on La Reunion. Vect Borne Zoon Dis 10:249–258. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dillwith JW, Blomquist GJ (1982) Site of sex pheromone biosynthesis in the female house fly, Musca domestica. Experientia 38:471–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Drummond FA, Logan PA, Casagrande RA, Gregson FA (1985) Host specificity tests of Chrysomelobia labidomerae, a mite parasitic on the Colorado potato beetle. Int J Acarol 11:169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eaton RC, Farley RD (1969) The neural control of cercal grooming behavior in the cockroach Periplaneta americana. J Insect Physiol 15:1047–1056PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goldman LJ, Callahan PS, Carlysle TC (1972) Tibial combs and proboscis cleaning in mosquitoes. Annu Rev Entomol Soc Am 65:1299–1302Google Scholar
  12. Golenda CF, Forgash A (1986) Grooming behavior in response to fenvalerate treatment in pyrethroid-resistant houseflies. Entomol Exp Appl 40:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gratz NG (2004) Critical review of the vector status of Aedes albopictus. Med Vet Entomol 18:215–227. doi: 10.1111/j.0269-283X.2004.00513.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hlavac TF (1975) Grooming systems of insects—structure, mechanics. Annu Entomol Soc Am 68:823–826Google Scholar
  15. Jander R (1976) Grooming and pollen manipulation in bees (Apoidea)—nature and evolution of movements involving foreleg. Physiol Entomol 1:179–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jander R, Jander U (1978) Wing grooming in bees (Apoidea) and the evolution of wing grooming in insects. J Kansas Entomol Soc 51:653–665Google Scholar
  17. Kumar NP, Mitha MM, Krishnamoorthy N, Kamaraj T, Joseph R, Jambulingam P (2007) Genotyping of virus involved in the 2006 Chikungunya outbreak in South India (Kerala and Puducherry). Curr Sci 93:1412–1416Google Scholar
  18. Lang JT (1977) Contact sex pheromone in the mosquito Culiseta inornata (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 14:448–454PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lang JT, Foster WA (1976) Is there a female sex pheromone in the mosquito Culiseta inornata. Environ Entomol 5:1109–1115Google Scholar
  20. Linley JR, Adams GM (1972) A study of the mating behaviour of Culicoides melleus (Coquillett) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Trans Entomol Soc Lond 124:81–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mc Iver SB (1982) Sensilla of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 19:489–535Google Scholar
  22. Paupy C, Delatte H, Bagny L, Corbel V, Fontenille D (2009) Aedes albopictus, an arbovirus vector: from the darkness to the light. Microbes Infect 11:1177–1185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paupy C, Ollomo B, Kamgang B, Moutailler S et al (2010) Comparative role of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti in the emergence of dengue and chikungunya in Central Africa. Vect Borne Zoon Dis 10:259–266. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Peyrefitte C, Rousset D, Pastorino B, Pouillot R et al (2006) Chikungunya virus, Cameroon, 2006. Emerg Infect Dis 13:768–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. R Development Core Team (2009) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.
  26. Reingold SC, Camhi JM (1977) A quantitative analysis of rhythmic leg movements during three different behaviors in cockroach, Periplaneta americana L. J Insect Physiol 23:1407–1420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reingold SC, Camhi JM (1978) Abdominal grooming in cockroach—development of an adult behavior. J Insect Physiol 24:101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schuffenecker I, Iteman I, Michault A, Murri S et al (2006) Genome microevolution of chikungunya viruses causing the Indian Ocean outbreak. PLoS Med 3:1–13. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030263 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sergon K, Njuguna C, Kalani R, Ofula V et al (2008) Seroprevalence of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection on Lamu Island, Kenya, October. Am J Trop Med Hyg 78:333–337PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Skuse F (1894) The banded mosquito of Bengal. Indian Museum Notes 3:20Google Scholar
  31. Slifer EH (1962) Sensory hairs with permeable tips on the tarsi of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Annu Entomol Soc Am 55:531–535Google Scholar
  32. Szebenyi AL (1969) Cleaning behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Anim Behav 17:641–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Valentine BD (1973) Grooming behavior in Coleoptera. Coleoptera Bull 27:63–73Google Scholar
  34. Walker ED, Archer WE (1988) Sequential organization of grooming behaviors of the mosquito, Aedes triseriatus. J Insect Behav 1:97–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wallis RC (1954) A study of oviposition activity of mosquitoes. Am J Hyg 60:135–168PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Yanagawa A, Shimizu S (2007) Resistance of the termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki to Metarhizium anisopliae due to grooming. Biocontrol 52:75–85. doi: 10.1007/s10526-006-9020-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxime Jacquet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cyrille Lebon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guy Lemperiere
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sébastien Boyer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.MIVEGEC (IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier 1), IRDMontpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche et de Veille dans l’Océan Indien (CRVOI)Sainte Clotilde, La RéunionFrance

Personalised recommendations