Vertical stratification of treeholes used by mosquitoes may reflect resource quality or result from interspecific competition. Mosquitoes able to monopolize treeholes with optimal resources may be over-represented in the community. Aedes sierrensis, which is well adapted for the Mediterranean climate of California, has evolved in the absence of interspecific competition, so oviposition should reflect resource quality to a large extent. Artificial oviposition traps mounted at four canopy heights facing north or south on trees in a mixed-oak forest at four elevations of the Pacific Coastal Range were used to assess vertical ovipositional preferences by the western treehole mosquito. Natural dispersal of the ciliated protozoan parasite Lambornella clarki was similarly monitored. Gravid Ae. sierrensis showed no vertical stratification during egg laying in traps. Lambornella clarki were naturally dispersed at relatively low frequency into traps and persisted unless eliminated by larval predation. Aedes sierrensis is not currently constrained into occupying a subset of treeholes. However, invasion of its native range by competitive species may alter oviposition patterns.
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