The allee effect in site choice behaviour of egg-laying dengue vector mosquitoes

Craig R. Williams, Katherine J. Faull, Natasha J. Wilson, Veronica R. Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Surveillance and control of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is commonly reliant on its egg-laying behaviour, which is affected by the presence of conspecific eggs. However, the influence of varying egg density and breeding site choice on Ae. aegypti egg-laying strategy is unclear. In this laboratory study Ae. aegypti demonstrated a strong oviposition preference for substrates with intermediate numbers of conspecific eggs, thus demonstrating an 'Allee effect'. The withholding of some eggs, a trait required for skip oviposition, was almost non-existent when no site choice was available, regardless of egg density; indicating that skip oviposition behaviour is modulated according to the availability of suitable sites. These experiments have revealed a hierarchy of oviposition choices in Ae. aegypti that may thwart attempts to use semiochemicals from eggs to enhance oviposition-based surveillance and control methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalTropical Biomedicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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