Habitat characteristics and eggshell distribution of the salt marsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, in marshes in subtropical eastern Australia
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Research at 10 locations in coastal subtropical Queensland, Australia, has shown that salt marshes contained heterogeneous distributions of eggshells of the pest and vector mosquito Aedes vigilax(Skuse) (Diptera:Culicidae). The eggshell distribution was related to specific vegetation assemblages,with a mix of the grass, Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth (Poales: Poaceae), and the beaded glasswort,Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex (Ung.-Stern) A.J. Scott (Caryophyllales: Chenopodiaceae), as significantly higher in eggshells than any other vegetation. There were also high numbers in the mix of S. virginicus with the arrowgrass, Triglochin striata Ruiz & Pav㮠(Alismatales: Juncaginaceae). Both mixed types are found in relatively wetter areas, despite very few eggshells being found generally in the low marsh. Most sites contained S. virginicus and eggshell locations were variable for this species alone. This was probably related to its life form variability in response to salinity and location on the marsh. Location on the marsh was important for eggshell distribution with most eggshells around the edges of pools and depressions, followed by, but to a significantly lesser extent, the marsh surface. Eggshells were fewest in the low marsh. Partition analysis resulted in a tree that simplified and summarised the factors important for eggshell distribution confirming the individual analyses. The potential effects ofclimate, sea level and other change are also briefly discussed in the context of likely changes to landcover and relative location on the marsh. For example, increased sea level may lead to low marsh conditions extending into higher marsh area with implications for oviposition and numbers of eggshells.
Journal of Insect Science
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