News News

Does bird metabolic rate influence mosquito feeding preference?

Host selection by mosquitoes plays a central role in the transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying intraspecific differences in hosts' attractiveness to mosquitoes are still poorly known. Host metabolism is an important trait that may influence mosquito searching and feeding behaviors as it could affect individual host profiles including the release of some key cues such as CO2, odor, and temperature. Therefore, individual hosts with higher metabolic rates should be more attractive to host-seeking mosquitoes. Here, the role of house sparrow Passer domesticus metabolic rate in the feeding preferences of Culex pipiens, a widespread mosquito vector of many pathogens affecting humans, wildlife and livestock, is experimentally investigated. Mosquito feeding preference was negatively associated with bird resting metabolic rate. This is the first experimental evidence that host metabolic rate can affect mosquitoes' blood feeding behavior. In addition, mosquito feeding preference was positively associated with bird body mass, supporting the importance of host size on mosquito blood-feeding at the intra-specific level. The relationships between mosquito feeding preferences and individual host characteristics could be explained by enhanced anti-mosquito behaviour associated with higher metabolic rates. Individuals with high metabolism may actively avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, despite releasing more attractant cues. Since metabolic rates can be related to individual differences in personality and life history traits, differences in mosquitoes' feeding preferences may be related to intraspecific differences in exposure to vector-borne pathogens. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es Yan et al (2018) Does bird metabolic rate influence mosquito feeding preference? Parasit Vectors DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2708-9


https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-018-2708-9
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Parasite’s cost on insect vectors

Avian Plasmodium and malaria-like parasites of the genus Haemoproteus are widespread vector-borne parasites commonly found infecting birds. These parasites impose deleterious effects on their...

Loss of pollinators: evidences, causes and consequences

Over the past few years discussions on the pollinator crisis have increased and campaigns to save bees have multiplied. However, these campaigns have not always been evidence-based. During the last...

On the path to extinction: inbreeding and admixture in a declining gray wolf population

Allee effects reduce the viability of small populations in many different ways, which act synergistically to lead populations towards extinction vortexes. The Sierra Morena wolf population,...

Integration of satellite remote sensing data in ecosystem modelling

Spatiotemporal ecological modelling of terrestrial ecosystems relies on climatological and biophysical Earth observations. Due to their increasing availability, global coverage, frequent...