The response of Aedes albopictus to the BG-Sentinel, Omni-directional-Fay-Prince, and Mosquito MagnetX traps was evaluated in four suburban and four sylvatic habitats in north-central Florida to ascertain potential height preference of this species. These traps, which are primarily designed to attract diurnal mosquitoes, were set at 1 and 6 m and were evaluated during 40 trapping periods over 4 mo. We collected 45,640 mosquitoes, representing 26 species from 10 genera, the most common being Aedes albopictus, Ae. vexans, Coquilletidia perturbons, Culex nigripalpus, Aedes infirmatus, Ae. triseriatus, and Psorophora ferox. Although significantly more Ae. albopictus were captured at 1 m above ground than at 6 m, fewer were captured in sylvatic habitats than suburban habitats. Although not statistically different, the BG-Sentinel caught more Ae. albopictus compared with the other two traps regardless of locale. These results suggest that, although Ae. albopictus was captured as high as 6 m, the majority seek hosts at or below 1-m heights. This further supports prior research that, although Ae. albopictus has been shown to disseminate West Nile virus, it has not been implicated as a major vector for the virus, which is likely because of its propensity to feed on ground-dwelling hosts. The study also shows how trap type, trap heights, and environments influence sampling estimates when determining species abundance.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4