Rhythms in the biting behaviour of a mosquito Armigeres subalbatus

Selvaraj Pandian, R. ; Chandrashekaran, M. K. (1980) Rhythms in the biting behaviour of a mosquito Armigeres subalbatus Oecologia, 47 (1). pp. 89-95. ISSN 0029-8549

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00541780


The biting cycle of Armigeres subalbatus is distinctly crepuscular, exhibiting two peaks of activity, a smaller one at dawn and a larger one at dusk. The biting cycle is entrained to natural light-dark cycles and the time interval from dawn to dawn or dusk to dusk peaks is exactly 24 h and from dawn to dusk or dusk to dawn is about 12 h measured at 50% level. This rhythm manifests itself day after day without any marked qualitative change. The rate of change of light intensity may determine the onset of crepuscular biting. The sudden increase (up to ca. 17 lx) or decrease (down to ca. 4 lx) in the intensity of ambient light at the time of sunrise or sunset coincides with the peak of the biting activity. The density of the population of the host-seeking females fluctuates in relation to the phases of the moon, increasing with the full moon phase and decreasing with the new moon phase. Even though the density of the population is greater outdoors than indoors both at ground levels and in the first floor, the peak of activity occurs at the same time in all the places. A vertical stratification of biting activity was also noticed.

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