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PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170362 Full paper
The influence of a light and dark cycle on the egg laying activity of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) (Diptera: Culicidae)

Luana Cristina Farnesi1, Christine Silveira Barbosa1, Luciana Ordunha Araripe1, Rafaela Vieira Bruno1,2,+

1Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Laboratório de Biologia Molecular de Insetos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
2Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Entomologia Molecular, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil


BACKGROUND The epidemiological importance of the mosquito Aedes aegypti as a vector of multiple human pathogens has generated a growing number of studies on the physiology and behaviour of its blood-feeding females. The activity of oviposition is one of the critical elements contributing to the expansion of Ae. aegypti’s populations. Although there is a vast literature about oviposition behaviour, significant specific knowledge about egg viability and female fertility under light and dark conditions is still lacking.

OBJECTIVES We studied, in controlled laboratory conditions, the effect that light and dark cycles have on the efficiency of oviposition by Ae. aegypti females.

METHODS Physiological assays were performed using synchronised eggs obtained from forced egg laying. The number and viability of eggs was analysed under three different light/dark regimes: LD12:12 (12 h of light and 12 h of dark), DD (constant darkness) and LL (constant light).

FINDINGS and CONCLUSIONS Our results show that females prefer to lay their eggs in dark conditions, but maximising the number and viability of eggs requires the occurrence of a light/dark cycle. Ongoing research on this theme has the potential of contributing to the proposition of new strategies for control based on the failure of egg laying and hatching.

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Financial support: CAPES, CNPq, IOC-FIOCRUZ.
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Received 5 September 2017
Accepted 27 December 2017