Daily oviposition patterns of the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae Giles (Diptera: Culicidae) on different types of aqueous substratesSumbaJ Circ Rythms200427

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), PO Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya. .
Journal of Circadian Rhythms 12/2004; 2(1):6. DOI: 10.1186/1740-3391-2-6
Source: PubMed


Anopheles gambiae Giles is the most important vector of human malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Knowledge of the factors that influence its daily oviposition pattern is crucial if field interventions targeting gravid females are to be successful. This laboratory study investigated the effect of oviposition substrate and time of blood feeding on daily oviposition patterns of An. gambiae mosquitoes.

Greenhouse-reared gravid and hypergravid (delayed oviposition onset) An. gambiae sensu stricto and wild-caught An. gambiae sensu lato were exposed to three types of substrates in choice and no-choice cage bioassays: water from a predominantly anopheline colonised ground pool (anopheline habitat water), swamp water mainly colonised by culicine larvae (culicine habitat water) and distilled water. The daily oviposition pattern and the number of eggs oviposited on each substrate during the entire egg-laying period were determined. The results were subjected to analysis of variance using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedure.

The main oviposition time for greenhouse-reared An. gambiae s.s. was between 19:00 and 20:00 hrs, approximately one hour after sunset. Wild-caught gravid An. gambiae s.l. displayed two distinct peak oviposition times between 19:00 and 20:00 hrs and between 22:00 and 23:00 hrs, respectively. During these times, both greenhouse-reared and wild-caught mosquitoes significantly (P < 0.05) preferred anopheline habitat water to the culicine one. Peak oviposition activity was not delayed when the mosquitoes were exposed to the less preferred oviposition substrate (culicine habitat water). However, culicine water influenced negatively (P < 0.05) not only the number of eggs oviposited by the mosquitoes during peak oviposition time but also the overall number of gravid mosquitoes that laid their eggs on it. The differences in mosquito feeding times did not affect the daily oviposition patterns displayed.

This study shows that the peak oviposition time of An. gambiae s.l. may be regulated by the light-dark cycle rather than oviposition habitat characteristics or feeding times. However, the number of eggs laid by the female mosquito during the peak oviposition time is affected by the suitability of the habitat.

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    • "Nocturnal mosquitoes may rely on vision especially during the early evening. This coincides with the time when the intensity of polarised light is high, a visual cue frequently used by aquatic insects [17,27,28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Electric nets (e-nets) are used to analyse the flight behaviour of insects and have been used extensively to study the host-oriented flight of tsetse flies. Recently we adapted this tool to analyse the oviposition behaviour of gravid malaria vectors, Anopheles gambiae s.s., orienting towards aquatic habitats and traps by surrounding an artificial pond with e-nets and collecting electrocuted mosquitoes on sticky boards on the ground next to the nets. Here we study whether e-nets themselves affect the responses of gravid An. gambiae s.s.. Methods Dual-choice experiments were carried out in 80 m2 screened semi-field systems where 200 gravid An. gambiae s.s. were released each night for 12 nights per experiment. The numbers of mosquito landing on or approaching an oviposition site were studied by adding detergent to the water in an artificial pond or surrounding the pond with a square of e-nets. We also assessed whether the supporting framework of the nets or the sticky boards used to retain electrocuted mosquitoes influenced the catch. Results Two similar detergent treated ponds presented in choice tests caught an equal proportion of the mosquitoes released, whereas a pond surrounded by e-nets caught a higher proportion than an open pond (odds ratio (OR) 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1 - 2.7; p < 0.017). The separate evaluation of the impact of the square of electric nets and the yellow boards on the approach of gravid females towards a pond suggests that the tower-like construction of the square of electric nets did not restrict the approach of females but the yellow sticky boards on the ground attract gravid females to a source of water (OR 2.7 95% CI 1.7 – 4.3; p < 0.001). Conclusion The trapping efficiency of the electric nets is increased when large yellow sticky boards are placed on the ground next to the e-nets to collect electrocuted mosquitoes, possibly because of increased visual contrast to the aquatic habitat. It is therefore important when comparing two treatments that the same trapping device is used in both. The importance of contrast around artificial habitats might be exploited to improve collections of An. gambiae s.s. in gravid traps.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Parasites & Vectors
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    • "At 3 d post bloodmeal, when the mosquitoes would be gravid, a shallow plastic oviposition cup (9 cm in diameter) that was half-Þlled with 50 ml aged tap water was placed in the cage. The cup containing the eggs laid that night was removed slowly in the morning, and the eggs were transferred gently to experimental containers (see later text) at 1400 Ð1600 hours, ϳ18 Ð20 h postoviposition (referred to as " 1 d postoviposition " in this study), assuming that most oviposition occurred in early night under these conditions (Sumba et al. 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mosquito eggs laid on water surfaces typically hatch spontaneously soon after the embryos within them become fully formed first-instar larvae. However, we have found that Anopheles gambiae Giles, an important vector of malaria in Africa, exhibits delayed hatching until the water surface is agitated, a feature overlooked in most laboratory colonies. Agitation within 24 h postoviposition, before embryonation was complete, failed to stimulate delayed postembryonic hatching of isolated eggs on the following day (day 2), when <1% had hatched spontaneously. However, 5 min of water agitation of these dormant pharate first-instar larvae on day 2 resulted in an almost immediate hatch of 63.3 versus 0% of nonagitated controls, plus another 3.9 versus 0.3%, respectively, during the following 24 h. With daily agitation, installment hatching occurred mainly during 2–6 d postoviposition. The mean cumulative hatch after 7 d of daily agitation was 83.1 versus 1.1% of nonagitated eggs. Experiments with eggs in groups demonstrated that egg density and activity of already-hatched larvae had no stimulatory effect. Eggs stored 1–4 wk at 25.5 or at 15.5°C, and then agitated daily for 6 d at 25.5°C, showed a gradual decline in viability. Viability was sustained longer at the lower temperature. Implications of agitation-induced egg hatching for rainy-season and dry-season ecology of An. gambiae are discussed. Suspended hatching and cool storage already are proving convenient for efficient mass rearing and accurate modeling of weather-based population dynamics.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Medical Entomology
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    • "The time period for observation was chosen based on preliminary experiments that have shown that out of 120 individual gravid females tested (5 round × 20 females) 95% (114/120) of the local insectary-reared An. gambiae s.s. (Mbita strain) laid all their eggs before 21.30, which is similar to the time reported for the same strain previously [19]. Experiments were done with eight mosquitoes each evening on nine occasions with unfed females and with gravid females (total 72 per physiological stage). "
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    ABSTRACT: To date no semiochemicals affecting the pre-oviposition behaviour of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu lato have been described. Water vapour must be the major chemical signal emanating from a potential larval habitat, and although one might expect that gravid An. gambiae s.l. detect and respond to water vapour in their search for an aquatic habitat, this has never been experimentally confirmed for this species. This study aimed to investigate the role of relative humidity or water vapour as a general cue for inducing gravid An. gambiae sensu stricto to make orientated movements towards the source. Three experiments were carried out with insectary-reared An. gambiae s.s. One with unfed females and two with gravid females during their peak oviposition time in the early evening. First, unfed females and gravid females were tested separately in still air where a humidity difference was established between opposite ends of a WHO bioassay tube and mosquitoes released individually in the centre of the tube. Movement of mosquitoes to either low or high humidity was recorded. Additionally, gravid mosquitoes were released into a larger air-flow olfactometer and responses measured towards collection chambers that contained cups filled with water or empty cups. Unfed females equally dispersed in the small bioassay tubes to areas of high and low humidity (mean 50% (95% confidence interval (CI) 38-62%). In contrast, gravid females were 2.4 times (95% CI 1.3-4.7) more likely to move towards high humidity than unfed females. The results were even more pronounced in the airflow olfactometer. Gravid females were 10.6 times (95% CI 5.4-20.8) more likely to enter the chamber with water than a dry chamber. Water vapour is a strong pre-oviposition attractant to gravid An. gambiae s.s. in still and moving air and is likely to be a general cue used by mosquitoes for locating aquatic habitats.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Malaria Journal
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