A Field Trial of Competitive Displacement of Aedes Polynesiensis by Aedes Albopictus on a Pacific Atoll

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  • Pacific Research Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Institut de Recherches Médicales “Louis Malardé,”, Department of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, P. O. Box 1680, Honolulu, Hawaii 96806

Prior laboratory studies and field observations suggested that it might be possible to reduce the size of the population of, or eliminate, Aedes polynesiensis by the introduction of Aedes albopictus. The former mosquito is the principal vector of nonperiodic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti and the latter is a closely related species refractory to the development of human filariae. The practicability of such competitive displacement was studied by a field trial on a remote coral atoll where there was an established population of A. polynesiensis. Three strains of A. albopictus were liberated at separate localities on the atoll and their fate was followed for 4 years. One strain disappeared within 12 months after release and the other two disappeared within 48 months. It was not clear whether A. albopictus failed to become established because the strains were unsuitable, the general environment was inappropriate, or A. polynesiensis was present in such numbers that A. albopictus rarely succeeded in mating with its own species.