Laboratory evaluation of Toxorhynchites splendens (Diptera: Culicidae) for predation of Aedes albopictus mosquito larvae
Toma, T.; Miyagi, I.
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 6(3): 281-289
ISSN/ISBN: 0269-283X PMID: 1358270 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.1992.tb00619.x
Biology of the mosquito Toxorhynchites splendens (Wiedemann) was studied in the laboratory to provide baseline data for using the predatory larvae of this species against those of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in a biological control programme. The mean incubation time of Tx.splendens eggs was 43.8 h and the time required for newly-hatched larvae to initiate predation was 2.5 h. Mean numbers of prey larvae consumed and killed by each Tx.splendens larva totalled 389 and 345 respectively. The larval period of Tx.splendens was not significantly different for rearing individually or in groups of nine, with equal prey density, and duration of larval development was proportional to prey density. In mass rearing, larval cannibalism was usually observed during days 1-3 post-eclosion. The incidence of cannibalism decreased sharply on the fourth day after hatching when some larvae became fourth-instar. Adult female Tx.splendens usually commenced oviposition on day 4 after emergence. The number of eggs laid daily increased on day 7 and the peak oviposition of 6.3 eggs/female/day occurred on day 11. When oviposition containers were provided only intermittently, gravid females of Tx.splendens scattered most of their eggs on the dry floor of the cage. Viability of eggs laid by females aged 4-14 days was high (60-90%) but decreased to less than 40% as the females aged.