WP 2 (Biology, ecology and control of Aedes spp)


WP 2 (Biology, ecology and control of Aedes spp) is aimed at the provision, recording and measurement of several biological parameters necessary for developing models and control options for Ae. albopictus and Ae. koreicus. We will integrate data available from previous studies with targeted research activities to determine the value of missing and/or local population parameters. Partner 4 (IZSVE) will provide detailed information on basic parameters on the natural abundance of eggs, larvae, pupae and adults in natural populations using published and unpublished field data collected since 1992. Data on demographic parameters obtained during previously-funded projects in Trentino (e.g. PAT incoming Post doc Grant “Risk Tiger”) will be provided by partner 1 (FEM).
Adult biology and ecology include resting, survival and longevity, flight and dispersal, biting activity, host preference, feeding behavior, oviposition, seasonal abundance, population density, and biotic and abiotic factors driving distribution and density at various environmental gradients. Information not available from field studies will be inferred from the literature and/or new laboratory studies. A colony of Aedes albopictus is currently available at Entostudio laboratory, which will cooperate in this project as a subcontractor of Partner 4.
Additional demographic data will be collected at various localities of the province of Trento, comparing areas of past invasion and areas of recent invasions. Preliminary data regarding genetic relatedness of Trentino and Veneto mosquitoes populations with those spreading in other Italian regions will be available thanks to ongoing cooperation with the University of Pavia within a framework of a project funded by the Italian Ministry of Health (Aedes albopictus in northern Italy: molecular markers and mathematical models to predict its potential future spread and the impact of control strategies Project Code: RF-2010-2318965). Insights into the evolutionary processes and adaptive capacity accompanying the invasion dynamics of this species in the Alps will be initiated at FEM using a genomic approach. New field experiment and applied studies are in fact urgently needed especially for Ae. koreicus that has recently colonized an extended area of the Belluno province and has high possibility of spreading in closer areas, especially in biotopes characterized by cold winters and cool summers, such as most of the territory of the Autonomous province of Trento.

The control of mosquitoes includes biological control, source reduction, physical barrier and personal protection and chemical control (adulticides and larvicides). Entostudio has a long experience in mosquito control (Martini et al., 2000b; Drago, 2003; Drago, 2007: references and further information available on their website), both from experimental studies and application in the field. In this task, data on the most effective strategies of control against Aedes invasive mosquitoes will be provided. For Ae. koreicus no data are available due to its new introduction in north-eastern Italy and experimental studies will be planned both in the field and in the laboratory.

WP leader: Dr Gioia Capelli, IZSVe, Italy