Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Laboratory experiments in aquatic microcosms showed that growth of larvae of the eastern tree hole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus, was stalled in the presence of senescent sugar maple leaves and associated fungal blooms on the leaves and in the water column. The phenomenon, by contrast, was not observed when red oak leaves were provided and larval growth was not inhibited. 18S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that fungi in the water column were predominantly Aspergillus spp. along with other fungi in a consortium. The observed dampening of larval growth could be due to: presence of toxic compounds, such as tannins, leached from the maple leaves; mechanical interference of feeding by the observed fungal bloom; toxic or growth inhibitory substances from the fungi; or interactions and combinations of these factors. The significance of these results to growth and production of mosquitoes from heterotrophic container habitats will be discussed.