Reproductive Strategies of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Implications for the Sterile Insect Technique

Abstract : Male insects are expected to optimize their reproductive strategy according to the availability of sperm or other ejaculatory materials, and to the availability and reproductive status of females. Here, we investigated the reproductive strategy and sperm management of male and virgin female Aedes albopictus, a mosquito vector of chikungunya and dengue viruses. The dynamics of semen transfer to the female bursa inseminalis and spermathecae were observed. Double-mating experiments were conducted to study the effect of time lapsed or an oviposition event between two copulations on the likelihood of a female double-insemination and the use of sperm for egg fertilization; untreated fertile males and radio-sterilised males were used for this purpose. Multiple inseminations and therefore the possibility of sperm competition were limited to matings closely spaced in time. When two males consecutively mated the same female within a 40 min interval, in ca. 15% of the cases did both males sire progeny. When the intervals between the copulations were longer, all progeny over several gonotrophic cycles were offspring of the first male. The mating behavior of males was examined during a rapid sequence of copulations. Male Ae. albopictus were parceling sperm allocation over several matings; however they would also attempt to copulate with females irrespective of the available sperm supply or accessory gland secretion material. During each mating, they transferred large quantities of sperm that was not stored for egg fertilization, and they attempted to copulate with mated females with a low probability of transferring their genes to the next generation. The outcomes of this study provided in addition some essential insights with respect to the sterile insect technique (SIT) as a vector control method.
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Clelia F. Oliva, David Damiens, Marc J. B. Vreysen, Guy Lempérière, Jeremie R. L. Gilles. Reproductive Strategies of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Implications for the Sterile Insect Technique. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (11), pp.e78884. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0078884⟩. ⟨hal-01285439⟩

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