Comparison of mosquito communities collected from differing livestock locations and an examination of phenotypic traits exhibited by four latitudinally separated populations of Aedes albopictus (Skuse)
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Mosquito presence and fitness play key roles in the spread of zoonotic pathogens affecting human as well as livestock and wild populations of vertebrates. This study examined the (1) differences between mosquito communities collected from mid-Missouri agricultural locations having differing primary livestock hosts and (2) genetic differences between populations of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) collected from four differing latitudes. Adult mosquito collections from 15 trapping locations that maintained 5 different primary livestock groups were made during 2009 and 2010. MRPP analysis indicated a difference between the mosquito community collected from the bovine trap sites and the community collected from the capine trap sites. An indicator species analysis found three particular mosquito species that may indicate the presence of bovine livestock in the environment. The ability of female mosquitoes to transmit pathogens among vertebrate populations has a direct relationship with her fitness as an adult. During the summer of 2010 four populations of Ae. albopictus were collected and used for comparisons of phenotypic traits expressed under the same environmental conditions. Florida larvae developed faster than Ohio and Georgia larvae in the same environment. During interspecific competition, Georgia larvae developed slower than Tennessee and Ohio larvae. Microsatellite analysis found genetic differences between the Ohio and Florida populations, but none due to geographic separation. These latitudinally separated populations of the invasive Ae. albopictus have exhibited genetic differences in body size that may significantly influence their success in disease transmission. This study adds more information concerning the presence of genetic differences of populations from differing climates that influence body size and female mosquito fitness.