Conference PaperPDF Available
of Veterinary
Different sizes of the buffer were tested and a radius of 20 meters
resulted to be the best compromise in terms of variability among
Ae. albopictus seems to prefer warm areas with vegetation and to
dislike areas with concrete.
The study was conducted in a small urban area, which did not include
all the possible land cover classes.
In further studies would be interesting to test interactions among
land cover types, to add information about water (e.g., manholes)
and data about human density.
Spatial analysis of habitat preference of
Aedes albopictus
1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Utrecht University, Utrecht,
The Netherlands
2 Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate
Research, Earth and Life Institute, Université
catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Daniela Cianci1 | Nienke Hartemink1 | Caroline Zeimes2 | Sophie Vanwambeke2 | Alessandra della Torre3 |
Beniamino Caputo3
3 Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e
Malattie Infettive, Università di
Roma “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italy
AIM: Investigate the preferred habitats of Aedes albopictus in an urban area
This project was funded by EU
grant FP7-261504 EDENext
The analysis was conducted using circular buffer around the trap
with a radius of 20 meters.
Two regression models for count data were applied:
oOutcome: number of mosquitoes/eggs;
oIndependent variables: land cover categories in the buffer,
solar radiation and month of the collection;
oAdjusted for trap effect, precipitation, temperature, humidity
and wind speed.
The land cover variables were selected to obtain the best model fit
The models were used to assess which land cover variables affect
the number of mosquitoes/eggs and whether the effect is positive or
Figure 2a. Spatial distribution of the mosquitoes
collected in “Sapienza” campus of Rome in 2008.
The size of the pie charts is proportional to the
number of mosquitoes collected in the trap.
Figure 2b. Spatial distribution of the eggs
collected in “Sapienza” campus of Rome in 2011.
The size of the pie charts is proportional to the
number of eggs collected in the trap.
Ae. albopictus females were collected
with 55 sticky traps, in the period from
13th August to 31st October 2008.
Ae. albopictus eggs were collected
with 55 ovitraps, in the period from
8th July to 21st October 2011.
Mosquitoes Eggs
variable selected but not significant
variable selected and significant
- variable not selected
Variables selected in each model
Figure 1. Study area: campus of “Sapienza” University in Rome
Figure 3. Digitized map of the campus of “Sapienza” University in Rome
with the land cover classification and the buffers around the traps.
Positive effect Negative effect
Variables Models for
mosquitoes Models for
Botanical garden -
Building -
Bush - -
Car park -
Grass - -
Manholes - -
Solar radiation
Trees - Positive effect
Botanical garden
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Neil Alexander (ERGO) for providing
support in the digitization of the map of the campus.
Over the past decades, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895)) has emerged in many countries, and it has colonized new environments, including urban areas. The species is a nuisance and a potential vector of several human pathogens, and a better understanding of the habitat preferences of the species is needed for help in successful prevention and control. So far, the habitat preference in urban environments has not been studied in Southern European cities. In this paper, spatial statistical models were used to evaluate the relationship between egg abundances and land cover types on the campus of Sapienza University in Rome, which is taken as an example of a European urban habitat. Predictor variables included land cover types, classified in detail on a high resolution image, as well as solar radiation and month of capture. The models account for repeated measures in the same trap and are adjusted for meteorological circumstances. Vegetation and solar radiation were found to be positively related to the number of eggs. More specifically, trees were positively related to the number of eggs and the relationship with grass was negative. These findings are consistent with the species' known preference for shaded areas. The unexpected positive relationship with solar radiation is amply discussed in the paper. This study represents a first step toward a better understanding of the spatial distribution of Ae. albopictus in urban environments. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
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