Distribution of the members of the Pipiens Assemblage in the sympatric area from Argentina: which is where and when?


Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz




Given their medical and veterinary relevance, the members of the Pipiens Assemblage are a worldwide target of ecological research. The distribution of Culex pipiens s.s. and Cx. quinquefasciatus converge in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where hybrids have been detected. Each member of the assemblage exhibits a distinct eco-physiological behaviour that can affect its efficiency in pathogen transmission. Our aim was to identify the environmental drivers for the spatio-temporal distribution of each member, focusing on latitudinal and urbanisation gradients. Immatures of mosquitoes were surveyed in artificial containers found within 11 public cemeteries, raised up to the adult stage and identified by their male genitalia. The distribution of each member was associated with the environment in a Generalized Linear Model. The variable accounting for most of the heterogeneity was latitude; Cx. quinquefasciatus was collected more frequently at northern cemeteries, whereas Cx. pipiens and hybrids were more likely at the southern extreme. The urbanisation gradient was also associated with the occurrence of Cx. quinquefasciatus and hybrids at the high and low end, respectively. Other relevant variables were cemetery total area, the proportion with graves and the presence of plastic flowers in the containers. The spatial distribution of the members of the Pipiens Assemblage within the sympatric region in South America is driven by environmental features. The information presented herein provides essential baseline data for surveillance programs and control activities.

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