Low temperature tolerance of three Aedes albopictus strains (Diptera: Culicidae) under constant and fluctuating temperature scenarios

Tippelt, Lisa; Werner, Doreen; Kampen, Helge GND

Background Aedes albopictus, a vector of numerous viruses and filarial worms, has already established in 20 countries in Europe, mainly colonising subtropical regions. Continuing adaptation to climatic conditions in temperate areas would probably result in a spread to more northern European countries, producing an increasing risk of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission over a much greater area. Based on previous studies showing that Ae. albopictus is able to overwinter in Germany, this study aims to determine more exactly its ecological limits of enduring low temperatures. Methods Non-diapausing and experimentally induced diapausing eggs of three different Ae. albopictus strains (tropical, subtropical and temperate origins) were exposed to four different regimes with constant temperatures and three different regimes with fluctuating temperatures in a course of a day for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 30 days. The hatching rate of larvae after cold exposure of the eggs was taken as a measure of cold tolerance. Results The experiments showed that the tropical Ae. albopictus strain had a lower cold tolerance than the subtropical and the temperate strains. The eggs of all used strains were able to survive constant temperatures as low as −5 °C for an exposure period of 30 days, while constant temperatures as low as −10 °C were endured for 2 days by the tropical strain and for 10 and 20 days by the subtropical and temperate strains, respectively. At fluctuating temperatures, both the subtropical and the temperate strains exhibited hatching under all temperature regimes, even with a minimum temperature of −10 °C, whereas the tropical strain ceased hatching after an exposure period of 30 days under the temperature regime with a minimum temperature of −10 °C. The analyses showed that the temperature played the major role in interpreting the hatching rates of the eggs. The condition, whether the eggs were diapausing or not, had no significant influence, although results indicated a slightly higher cold tolerance of diapausing eggs at −10 °C. Conclusions It must be expected that subtropical and temperate strains of Ae. albopictus are able to withstand common central European winters and are able to establish in considerable parts of the continent.

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Tippelt, Lisa / Werner, Doreen / Kampen, Helge: Low temperature tolerance of three Aedes albopictus strains (Diptera: Culicidae) under constant and fluctuating temperature scenarios. 2020.

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