Could Sterile Aedes albopictus Male Releases Interfere with Aedes aegypti Population in Reunion Island?

H. F. Andrianjakarivony, D. Damiens, L. Marquereau, B. Gaudillat, N. Habchi-Hanriot and L.-C. Gouagna,  Insects,  13. 2022.

In Reunion Island, the feasibility of an Aedes albopictus control program using the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is studied. Because, in some regions, Ae. albopictus is living in sympatry with Aedes aegypti, the impact of releasing millions of sterile male Ae. albopictus on female Ae. aegypti reproduction needs to be assessed. Thus, to study the potential heterospecific matings, a marking technique using rhodamine B has been used. Rhodamine is given in solution to male mosquitoes to be incorporated into the male body and seminal fluid and transferred during mating into the bursa inseminalis and spermathecae of females. The presence of rhodamine in females occurred in 15% of cases when Ae. aegypti females were offered non-irradiated Ae. albopictus males, 5% when offered irradiated Ae. albopictus males and 18% of cases in the inverse heterospecific matings. Moreover, our results also showed that these matings gave few eggs but were not viable. Finally, the results showed that whatever the type of mating crosses, females in cages previously crossed with males of another species can re-mate with males of their species and produce an equivalent amount of egg compared to females only mated with conspecific males. Despite the promiscuity of the males and females in small cages for three days, heterospecific mating between sterile male Ae. albopictus and female Ae aegypti, 95% of the females have not been inseminated suggesting that in the field the frequency satyrization would be very low.

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