Materials from the Department of Entomology

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    Data from: Aedes albopictus host odor preference does not drive observed variation in feeding patterns across field populations
    Fikrig, Kara; Rose, Noah; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan; Kamgang, Basile; Leisnham, Paul; Mangan, Jamie; Ponlawat, Alongkot; Rothman, Sarah; Stenn, Tanise; McBride, Carolyn S.; Harrington, Laura C. (2022)
    These files contain data supporting all results reported in "Aedes albopictus host odor preference does not drive observed variation in feeding patterns across field populations" by Fikrig et al. The following is an abstract from that paper: "Laboratory and field-based studies of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus demonstrate its competency to transmit over twenty different pathogens linked to a broad range of vertebrate hosts. The vectorial capacity of Ae. albopictus to transmit these pathogens remains unclear, partly due to knowledge gaps regarding its feeding behavior. Blood meal analyses from field-captured specimens have shown vastly different feeding patterns, with a wide range of anthropophagy (human feeding) and host diversity. To address this knowledge gap, we asked whether differences in innate host preference may drive observed variation in Ae. albopictus feeding patterns in nature. Low generation colonies (F2-F4) were established with field-collected mosquitoes from three populations with high reported anthropophagy (Thailand, Cameroon, and Florida, USA) and three populations in the United States with low reported anthropophagy (New York, Maryland, and Virginia). The preference of these Ae. albopictus colonies for human versus non-human animal odor was assessed in a dual-port olfactometer along with control Ae. aegypti colonies already known to show divergent behavior in this assay. All Ae. albopictus colonies were less likely (p<0.05) to choose the humanbaited port than the anthropophilic Ae. aegypti control, instead behaving similarly to zoophilic Ae. aegypti. Our results suggest that variation in reported Ae. albopictus feeding patterns are not driven by differences in innate host preference, but may result from differences in host availability. This work is the first to compare Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti host preference directly and provides insight into differential vectorial capacity and human feeding risk."
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    Data from: The Effects of Host Availability and Fitness on Aedes albopictus Blood Feeding Patterns in New York
    Fikrig, Kara; Martin, Elisabeth; Dang, Sharon; St Fleur, Kimberly; Goldsmith, Henry; Qu, Sophia; Rosenthal, Hannah; Pitcher, Sylvie; Harrington, Laura C. (2021-12-23)
    These files contain data supporting results reported in Fikrig (2022) The Effects of Host Availability and Fitness on Aedes albopictus Blood Feeding Patterns in New York. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (in press). In Fikrig we found: Aedes albopictus is a competent vector of numerous pathogens, representing a range of transmission cycles involving unique hosts. Despite the important status of this vector, variation in its feeding patterns is poorly understood. We examined the feeding patterns of Ae. albopictus utilizing resting collections in Long Island, NY, and contextualized blood meal sources with host availability measured by household interviews and camera traps. We identified 90 blood meals, including 29 humans, 22 cats, 16 horses, 12 opossums, 5 dogs, 2 goats, and 1 each of rabbit, rat, squirrel, and raccoon. This is only the third study of Ae. albopictus blood feeding biology that quantitatively assessed domestic host availability and is the first to do so with wild animals. Host feeding indices showed that cats and dogs were fed upon disproportionately often compared with humans. Forage ratios suggested a tendency to feed on cats and opossums and to avoid raccoons, squirrels, and birds. This feeding pattern was different from another published study from Baltimore, where Ae. albopictus fed more often on rats than humans. To understand whether these differences were because of host availability or mosquito population variation, we compared the fitness of New York and Baltimore Ae. albopictus after feeding on rat and human blood. In addition, we examined fitness within the New York population after feeding on human, rat, cat, horse, and opossum blood. Together, our results do not indicate major mosquito fitness differences by blood hosts, suggesting that fitness benefits do not drive Northeastern Ae. albopictus feeding patterns.
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    Data from: Sugar feeding patterns of New York Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are affected by saturation deficit, flowers, and host seeking
    Fikrig, Kara; Peck, Sonile; Deckerman, Peter; Dang, Sharon; St Fleur, Kimberly; Goldsmith, Henry; Qu, Sophia; Rosenthal, Hannah; Harrington, Laura C. (2020-10-14)
    Background: Sugar feeding is an important behavior which may determine vector potential of female mosquitoes. Sugar meals can reduce blood feeding frequency, enhance survival, and decrease fecundity, as well as provide energetic reserves to fuel energy intensive behaviors such as mating and host seeking. Sugar feeding behavior can be harnessed for vector control (e.g. attractive toxic sugar baits). Few studies have addressed sugar feeding of Aedes albopictus, a vector of arboviruses of public health importance, including dengue and Zika viruses. To address this knowledge gap, we assessed sugar feeding patterns of Ae. albopictus for the first time in its invasive northeastern USA range. Methodology/ Principal Findings: Using the cold anthrone fructose assay with robust sample sizes, we demonstrated that a large percentage of both male (49.6%) and female (41.8%) Ae. albopictus fed on plant or homopteran derived sugar sources within 24 hrs prior to capture (see "Fikrig_etal2020_field_sugar.csv" for fructose concentrations and other data about the mosquito sample and collection). Our results suggest that sugar feeding behavior increases when environmental conditions are dry (high saturation deficit) (see "Fikrig_etal2020_weather.csv") and may vary by behavioral status (host seeking vs. resting) (see "Fikrig_etal2020_field_sugar.csv"). Furthermore, mosquitoes collected on properties with flowers (>3 blooms) had higher fructose concentrations compared to those collected from properties with few to no flowers (0-3) (see "Fikrig_etal2020_flowers.csv"). Conclusions/Significance: Our results provide the first evidence of Ae. albopictus sugar feeding behavior in the Northeastern US and reveal relatively high rates of sugar feeding. These results suggest the potential success for regional deployment of toxic sugar baits. In addition, we demonstrate the impact of several environmental and mosquito parameters (saturation deficit, presence of flowers, host seeking status, and sex) on sugar feeding. Placing sugar feeding behavior in the context of these environmental and mosquito parameters provides further insight into spatiotemporal dynamics of feeding behavior for Ae. albopictus, and in turn, provides information for evidence-based control decisions.
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    Classical biological control of insects and mites: A comprehensive list of pathogen and nematode introductions (2020)
    Hajek, Ann E.; Gardescu, Sana; Delalibera, Italo Jr (2020-02-03)
    This list acts as a Supplementary Appendix for an article submitted in 2020 to the journal BioControl, entitled "Summary of classical biological control introductions of entomopathogens and nematodes for insect control" (Hajek, Gardescu, & Delalibera). This list provides a brief summary of information on releases of non-native pathogen or nematode biological control agents, as reported in the scientific literature, from the 1800s to early 2000s. The list is organized by agent species and the target insect/mite pest species, and includes the country/region and year of each release. This list summarizes the information presented in a format organized by target pest Orders in "Classical biological control of insects and mites: A worldwide catalogue of pathogen and nematode introductions" (Hajek, Gardescu & Delalibera, 2016) USDA FHTET-2016-06.
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    Data from: Age and body size influence sperm quantity in male Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes
    Hatala, A J; Harrington, L C; Degner, E C (2018)
    Aedes albopictus is a vector of several arboviruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and potentially Zika viruses. A solid understanding of male reproductive biology is essential to vector control strategies that deploy males into the field, but limited investigative effort into male Ae. albopictus leave many basic questions unanswered. We tested whether body size and age affect sperm production in Ae. Albopictus. In general, older and larger males having a greater total number of sperm in their reproductive tract than their younger or smaller counterparts. However, spermatogenesis in large males continues past 10 days post eclosion, while small males failed to produce sperm after this age. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of Ae. albopictus reproductive physiology. We discuss the usefulness of these findings in the context of Ae. albopictus life history and their utility in optimizing male mosquito release strategies.