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Keywords:

  • Culicidae;
  • habitat choice;
  • larval habitat;
  • oviposition

1. Natal habitat preference induction (NHPI) is a behavioural phenomenon in which offspring show a change in preference in adult oviposition choice as a function of experience as an immature.

2. Although well known in certain systems, such as herbivorous insects, this behaviour has not been well studied in aquatic insects.

3. The container–breeding mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse) was used to test if NHPI occurs in aquatic insects under natural conditions of two leaf species as a nutritive base (Juniperus virginiana L. and Quercus virginiana Mill) and two larval densities.

4. Significant effects of leaf species and density on adult mosquito attributes were found, with J. virginiana and low larval density associated with more, faster developing, larger and more fecund mosquitoes. However, no evidence for NHPI was found. Instead a canalised behavior was found that included spreading eggs between high– and low–quality oviposition choices in the same proportions regardless of larval experience.