Publication: Spatial distribution of Aedes albopictus in urban environments

Researchers have shed light on the habitat preferences of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in urban environments, using spatial statistical models to evaluate the relationship between egg abundance and land cover types at a site in Rome, Italy.

Writing in the Journal of Medical Entomology, they report: “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.”

Taken from: Daniela Cianci, Nienke Hartemink, Caroline B Zeimes, Sophie O Vanwambeke, Annamaria Ienco, Beniamino Caputo. High Resolution Spatial Analysis of Habitat Preference of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in an Urban Environment. Journal of Medical Entomology, first published online 29 March 2015. Doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv026 (EDENext173)

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Published: 06/05/2015

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