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12 September 2018 The Effect of the Alternative Prey, Paramecium caudatum (Peniculida: Parameciidae), on the Predation of Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) by the Copepods Macrocyclops albidus and Megacyclops viridis (Cyclopoida: Cyclopidae)
Ross N. Cuthbert, Amanda Callaghan, Jaimie T. A. Dick
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Abstract

Biological control can be an effective tool to combat public health risks associated with mosquito-borne disease. However, target impacts of biological control agents may be reduced by biotic contexts such as the presence of alternative prey. In turn, this can impede our ability to realistically assess biocontrol agent efficacy. Here, we examine the effects of alternative ciliate prey on the predation potential of two cyclopoid copepods, Macrocyclops albidus Jurine (Cyclopoida: Cyclopidae) and Megacyclops viridis Jurine (Cyclopoida: Cyclopidae), toward larvae of the West Nile virus vector mosquito Culex pipiens Linnaeus (Diptera: Culicidae). Using functional responses (FRs; resource use under different resource densities), we demonstrate that both copepods exhibit potentially destabilizing type II FRs toward mosquito prey. However, where the alternative prey was present, we observed species-specific modulations to FR form and magnitude. For M. albidus, FRs remained type II where ciliate prey were present, however, maximum feeding rates on mosquito larvae were reduced. Conversely, for M. viridis, FRs moved toward more stabilizing type III, while maximum feeding rates on mosquito larvae were not significantly reduced. While both species of cyclopoid copepod were able to effectively target and consume larval mosquitoes in the presence of alternative prey, we demonstrate that overall efficacies may be reduced in aquatic habitats which contain multiple prey types. We thus advocate that biotic contexts such as prey selectivity should be integrated into predatory biocontrol agent examinations for mosquitoes which vector pathogens and parasites, to more holistically assess their efficacy.

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Ross N. Cuthbert, Amanda Callaghan, and Jaimie T. A. Dick "The Effect of the Alternative Prey, Paramecium caudatum (Peniculida: Parameciidae), on the Predation of Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) by the Copepods Macrocyclops albidus and Megacyclops viridis (Cyclopoida: Cyclopidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 56(1), 276-279, (12 September 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy155
Received: 15 June 2018; Accepted: 8 August 2018; Published: 12 September 2018
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KEYWORDS
Culex pipiens
cyclopoid
functional response
mosquito-borne disease
prey choice
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