Behaviour 2019
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The mating behavior and behavioral ecology of Culex mosquitoes
Susan Villarreal, Amy Chiero. Denison University, Granville, OH, United States

Culex mosquitoes are an important group of mosquitoes across the United States, transmitting various diseases like West Nile virus. The focus of our lab is to explore the diversity and distribution of Culex mosquitoes in Central Ohio, as well as analyze the mating behavior of abundant Culex mosquitoes, like Culex pipiens and Culex erraticus. To assess the community ecology of Culex mosquitoes, we worked with the Licking County Health Department to identify the species of mosquitoes they collect using gravid traps placed in 30 locations across the county throughout the summer. So far, the majority of the mosquitoes collected are Culex erraticus. We are working now to identify any reliable biotic or abiotic factors that could affect the abundance and distribution of each mosquito species collected. In addition to this work, we are collecting Culex egg rafts via baited oviposition traps placed around Granville, Ohio. The mosquitoes will be identified and reared in sibling groups, and fed high- and low-quality diets. These mating trials should allow us to determine if and how mate quality is being assessed.