Density-dependent regulation of Aedes cantans (Diptera: Culicidae) in natural and artificial populations


Dr M. Renshaw, Biological Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG.



  • 1Mortality and size variation (siphon length) in Aedes cantans larvae were examined in natural populations in northern England in 1989 and 1990.
  • 2Under crowded conditions, density-dependent competition led to reduction in the size of both larvae and adults and increased larval mortality.
  • 3Larvae were also maintained in cages in the field at different densities. Results paralleled those for the natural populations in the ponds; larvae maintained at high densities showed increased mortality and reduced size.
  • 4Possible density-dependent factors leading to mortality and size reduction include cannibalism and contact inhibition leading to food shortages.
  • 5The main density-independent factor contributing to larval mortality was habitat desiccation.