Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

Committee Chair

Donald Yee

Committee Chair Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 2

Jake Schaefer

Committee Member 2 Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 3

Jodie Jawor

Committee Member 3 Department

Biological Sciences


Mosquitoes (Diptera. Culicidae) are insects that are medically important as adults as they vector numerous diseases. Yet, understanding the ecology of the larval stage can lead to surveillance and control of adult populations. Aedes albopictus, Aedes triseriatus, Cu/ex corona/or, and Culex quinquefasciatus are four species of mosquito that co-occur in discarded automobile tires. Mosqui-to larvae feed on microorganisms (including protozoans) and particulate organic matter Most larval feeding experiments. howt:ver, have dealt exclusively with bacteria, fungi , and particulate organic matter Although bactena and fungi are important sources of nitrogen and lipids, they may be 111sufficient sources of carbon, which may be supplied by protozoans. The importance of protozoans to mosquitoes is not fully understood. I investigated the interactions between protozoans and mosquitoes based on predator behavior and size selection. I investigated the effect protozoans had when added with bacteria on mosquito larvae performance compared to bacteria alone. There were no siginificant differences for either species in survival. development time, or adult mass between mosquitoes that were fed protozoans or not. I investigated differences m larval behavior between four species of mosquito larvae. Differences m feeding behaviors were significantly greater between genera than within genera, but Culex corona/or shared similar non-feeding behaviors as the two Aedes species. [ investigated the differences in larval survival and mean instar in the presence of three genera of protozoans (Paramecium, Blepharisma, and Colpidium) that represented two size classes. There were no significant differences in survival or mean instar between the seven prey combinations for either species, and the mosquito larvae did not seem to have a preference for one of the prey combinations over the others. My results show that protozoans do not seem to add any value to mosquito larvae, but protozoans may be more important to mosquitoes than just survival, mass, or development time.

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Biology Commons