Printer Friendly

Aechmea distichantha (Bromeliaceae) epiphytes, potential new habitat for Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) collected in the province of Tucuman, Northwestern Argentina.

Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (Linnaeus) is a mosquito-associated with urban environments, and its larvae and pupae develop in a wide variety of artificial habitats (Forattini 1965). In the early 1960s, 17 countries and territories in the Americas, including Argentina, certified its eradication (Kerr et al. 1964). But a decade and a half later, they were re-colonized by Ae. aegypti due to the abandonment of the vector control programs. In 1987, the vector was again detected in Argentina, and during the early 1990s it colonized 16 provinces and 580 of the 854 existing municipalities (Coto & Masuh 2003). This is the only vector responsible for dengue epidemics that have occurred in our country from 1997 to date, recording more than 25,000 cases of DEN-1 in 2009 (Ministry of Public Health 2009).

Several studies conducted in Argentina report the presence of Ae. aegypti in a wide variety of artificial \ habitats in urban areas showing stable behavior of this species in relation to habitat preference, but also its ability to adapt to new conditions imposed by man (Campos 1993; Campos & Macia 1996; Aviles et al. 1997; Schweigmann et al. 1997; Augier 1998; Almiron & Luduena Almeida 1998; Stein & Oria 2002; Stein et al. 2002, 2007, 2011; Mangudo et al. 2010; Campos et al. 2011). In Brazil, Ae. aegypti has been collected from bromeliads in public and private gardens (Forattini et al. 2000; Mocellin et al. 2009), although as some authors suggested, these habitats do not contribute importantly to the production of its immatures (Mocellin et al. 2009; Santos et al. 2010). In relation to natural habitats in which Ae. aegypti has been observed in Argentina, Mangudo et al. (2010) found the species in treeholes in Aguaray city, Salta province, while Campos et al. (2011) observed this species in the axils of Araceae, at the National Park in Puerto Iguazu, province of Misiones. The phytotelmata have been identified as important habitats for vectors of human disease (O'Meara et al. 1995).

Culex (Culex) quinquefasciatus Say has also been found colonizing the same artificial locations as Ae. aegypti in urban environments, although it differs in behavior (Schweigmann et al. 1997; Almiron & Luduena Almeida 1998; Oria et al. 1999, 2002; Stein & Oria 2002; Stein et al. 2002, 2007, 2011). This species is a competent vector of St. Louis Encephalitis virus in Argentina (Diaz 2009). Many other arboviruses have been isolated from Cx. quinquefasciatus, including Oropouche virus in Brazil. Vertical transmission of the Japanese encephalitis virus has also been demonstrated in this species (Lourenjo-de-Oliveira & da Silva 1985; Johansen et al. 2001).

This is the first report of larvae of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus in epiphytic bromeliads in semi-urban and rural localities in the province of Tucuman, northwestern Argentina (Fig. 1). Both localities are in the subtropical mountainous rainforest also called Yungas that extends from the Bolivia border (S 22[degrees]) up to the north of Catamarca province (S 29[degrees]), traversing Salta, Jujuy and Tucuman provinces (Cabrera 1994; Brown & Grau 1995; Brown et al. 2001). In the Yungas it is possible to recognize 4 vegetation strata within forests (piedmont forest, mountain forest, and mountain wood and altitude grasses). The piedmont forest receives average annual precipitation of 820 mm (550-1400 mm) and the average annual temperature is 21.5 [degrees]C (average maximum = 27.6 [degrees]C, average minimum = 15.4 [degrees]C). The localities are situated in the piedmont forest, which is characterized by native vegetation patches with areas that are strongly modified by human activities (deforestation and agriculture). It is common to see increased plantings of sugar cane, soybean and citrus (Prado 1995; Dantur Juri et al. 2010a, 2010b).The forest is called "tipa and pacara" (Tipuana tipu (Benth.) Kuntze; Fabales: Fabaceae) and (Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Vell.) Morong.; Fabales: Fabaceae), including canopy trees such as Blepharocalyx salicifolius (H.B.K.) (Myrtales: Myrtaceae), Juglans australis Griseb. (Fagales: Juglandaceae), Terminalia triflora (Griseb.) Lillo (Myrtales: Combretaceae), Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart. ex DC.) Mattos (Lamiales: Bignoniaceae), Jacaranda cuspidifolia Mart. (Lamiales: Bignoniaceae), Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don., Tabebuia avellanedae Lor. ex Griseb. (Lamiales: Bignoniaceae), Tecoma stans (L.) C. Juss. ex Kunth (Lamiales: Bignoniaceae), Salix humboldtiana Willd. (Malpighiales: Salicaceae), Acacia visco Griseb. (Fabales: Fabaceae), Scutia buxifolia Reissek (Rosales: Rhamnaceae), Ceiba chodatii Hassl. (Malvales: Malvaceae), Celtis pubescens (Kunth) Spreng. (Rosales: Cannabaceae), Allophyllus edulis (St. Hil.) Radlkofer (Sapindales: Sapindaceae) and Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtales: Myrtaceae), among others. Climber or aerial plant species belong to the families Bignoniaceae, Ulmaceae, and Amaranthaceae. There are also vascular epiphyte plants such as Bromeliaceae (Prado 1995; Dantur Juri et al. 2010a, 2010b).

Epiphytic bromeliads situated on various species of trees and on a roof of an abandoned construction were inspected in Monte Bello (S 27[degrees] 22' 43,89" W 65[degrees] 44' 30,02"; 535 m asl) and Iltico (S 27[degrees] 20' 13,56" W 65[degrees] 39' 25,07"; 411 m asl) localities (Fig. 1). They were found at heights between 0.50 m and up to 4 m above ground level. There were 2 collections, one in Nov 2012 and the other in Mar 2013 (Table 1, Fig. 2). We consider these sampling sites as natural habitats located in a residual primitive forest or wild ecosystem (Monte Bello) and the other as a primitive forest but modified by human activities (Iltico). The larvae and pupae were collected using a glass bottle (1,500 mL), with a rubber stopper with two holes through which were inserted 2 flexible plastic tubes. One tube was introduced into the bromeliad's water reservoir (phytotelm), and then by applying suction with the other tube, all the water contained in the phytotelm was collected together with the immature stages of the mosquitoes. The water containing the larvae and/or pupae was transported to the laboratory in jar labeled with names of collectors and the date and site of collection. The larvae and pupae were reared to obtain adults in the laboratory.

The culicids were sorted and identified following the Lane (1953) and Darsie (1985) determination keys. The bromeliads were also identified as Aechmea distichantha Lemaire (Poales: Bromeliaceae) a native species, in all cases. In Monte Bello we collected 5 larvae of Ae. aegypti and 1 larva and 1 pupa of Cx. quinquefasciatus from the bromeliads located on the roof of an abandoned building, only 10 m from the nearest house and the same distance from the primitive forest (Fig. 2a). At Iltico, we collected 6 larvae of Ae. aegypti from epiphytic bromeliads located 4 m high above ground on a tree at 2 m from the nearest houses (Fig. 2b). Aedes aegypti specimens were collected with larvae of Culex (Culex) fernandezi Garcia & Cavalieri, Culex (Microculex) imitator Theobald and Toxorhynchites (Lynchiella) guadalupensis Dyar & Knab, while Cx. quinquefasciatus was collected with larvae of Tx. guadalupensis (Table 1).

Aedes aegypti was found in clear or turbid water, with or without organic matter, and with or without an unpleasant odor. Culex quinquefasciatus was found in clear water without organic matter.

Despite the fact that the degree of infestation of nearby houses was not assessed either by the authors or by public health authorities, these observations should be taken into consideration by the latter, because the findings of Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus in bromeliads located in wild and semi-urban environments could indicate a possible degree of invasion and adaptation to the primitive forest, or they may be a consequence of high infestations levels in nearby houses (Malta Verajao et al. 2005). This finding requires in-depth studies to reveal the real behavior of these species in the study area, the true role of bromeliads as producers of these medically important mosquitos, and to determine and adopt appropriate control measures.

Caption: Fig. 1. Map of the study area.

Caption: Fig. 2. Mosquito habitats provided by the Aechmea distichantha, a bromeliad epiphyte in the Yungas of northwestern Argentina. (2a) Aspect of residual primitive forest in Monte Bello, meters from bromeliads where larvae of Ae. aegypti were found. (2b) Aspect of the abandoned building where epiphytic bromeliads were found from which the larvae of Ae. aegypti were collected. (2c) Epiphytic bromeliads from which larvae of Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus were collected at Iltico.


ALMIRON, W. R., AND BREWER, M. E. 1996. Classification of immature stage habitats of Culicidae (Diptera) collected in Cordoba, Argentina. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 91: 1-9.

ALMIRON, W. R., AND LUDUENA ALMEIDA, F. 1998. Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) en Cordoba, Argentina. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argentina 57: 27-28.

AUGIER, L. M. 1998. Presencia de Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) en Tucuman, Argentina. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argentina 57: 66.

AVILES, G., CECCHINI, R., HARRINGTON, M. E., CICHERO, J., AND ASIS, R. 1997. Aedes aegypti in Cordoba province, Argentina. J. American Mosq. Control Assoc. 13: 255-258.

BROWN, D. A., AND GRAU, H. R. 1995. Investigation, conservacion y desarrollo en las selvas subtropicales de montana. Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecologicas de las Yungas. Universidad Nacional de Tucuman. Tucuman, Argentina, 270 pp.

BROWN, A. D., GRAU, H. R., MALIZIA, L., AND GRAU, A. 2001. Los Bosques Nublados de la Argentina, pp. 623-659 In M. Kappelle and A. D. Brown [ed.], Bosques Nublados de Latinoamerica, Editorial IN-Bio, Costa Rica.

CABRERA, A. L. 1994. Regiones fitogeograficas argentinas. Tomo II. Enciclopedia Argentina de agricultura y jardineria. Buenos Aires. Editorial Acme S.A.C.I. 85 pp.

Campos, R. E. 1993. Presencia de Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) en la localidad de Quilmes (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argentina 52: 36.

CAMPOS, R. E., SPINELLI, G., AND MOGI, M. 2011. Culicidae and Ceratopogonidae (Diptera: Nematocera) inhabiting phytotelmata in Iguazu National Park, Misiones Province, subtropical Argentina. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argentina 70: 111-118.

COTO, H., AND MASUH, H. 2003. Control de Aedes aegypti (L.) en la ciudad de Clorinda (Formosa, Argentina): un modelo para areas urbanas. Actas VII Jornadas de Zoologia del Uruguay. pp. 140.

DANTUR JURI, M. J., ZAIDENBERG, M., CLAPS, G. L., SANTANA, M., AND ALMIRON, W. R. 2010a. Abundance patterns of Anopheles pseudopunctipennis and Anopheles argyritarsis in northwestern Argentina. Acta Trop. 115: 234-241.

DANTUR JURI, M. J., ALMIRON, W. R., AND CLAPS, G. L. 2010b. Population fluctuation of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae: Anophelinae) in natural and modified environments. J. Vector Ecol. 35: 28-34.

DARSIE, R. F. JR. 1985. The mosquitoes of Argentina Parts I, Keys for identification of adult females and fourth stage larvae in English and Spanish (Diptera, Culicidae). Mosq. Syst. 17: 153-253.

DIAZ, L. A. 2009. Patrones de actividad estacional del virus St. Louis encephalitis en Cordoba, Argentina. Tesis.UNC. 195 pp.

FORATTINI, O. P. 1965. Entomologia Medica. Vol. II. Culicini: Culex, Aedes, Psorophora. Ed. Univ. Sao Paulo, 506 pp.

FORATTINI, O. p., and Alvarenga Monteiro Marques, G. R. 2000. Nota sobre o encontro de Aedes aegypti em bromelias Rev. Saude Publica 34: 543-44.

JOHANSEN, C. A., VAN DEN HURK, A. F., PYKE, A. T., ZBOROWSKI, P., PHILLIPS, D. A., MACKENZIE, J. S., AND RITCHIE, S. A. 2001. Entomological investigations of an outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis Virus in the Torres Strait, Australia, in 1998. J. Med. Entomol. 38: 581-88.

KERR, J. A., CAMARGO, S. D., AND ABEDI, Z. H. 1964. Eradication of Aedes aegypti in Latin America. J. American Mosq. Control Assoc. 24: 276-82.

LANE, J. 1953. Neotropical Culicidae, 1st/2nd ed., Ind Graf Siqueira SA, Sao Paulo, 1,112 pp.

LOURENCO DE OLIVEIRA, R., AND SILVA, T. F. 1985. Alguns aspectos da ecologia dos mosquitos (Diptera: Culicidae) de uma area de planicie (Granjas Calabria), em Jacarepagua, Rio de Janeiro. III. Preferencia horaria das femeas para o hematofagismo. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 80: 195-201.

MALTA VAREJAO, J. B., DOS SANTOS, C. B., REZENDE, H. R., BEVILACQUA, L. C., AND FALQUETO, A. 2005. Criadouros de Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) em bromelias nativas na Cidade de Vitoria, ES. Rev. Soc. Brasil Med. Trop. 38:238-240.

MANGUDO, C., APARICIO, J. P., AND GLEISER, R. M. 2010. Huecos de arboles como habitat larval de Aedes aegypti en el arbolado publico de la localidad de Aguaray, provincia de Salta, VII Jornadas Regionales sobre mosquitos, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Posadas, pp. 37.


MOCELLIN, M. G., SIMOES, T. C., FERNANDES SILVA DO NASCIMENTO, T., TEIXEIRA, M. L. F., LOUNIBOS, L. P., AND LOURENQO DE OLIVEIRA, R. 2009. Bromeliad-inhabiting mosquitoes in an urban botanical garden of dengue endemic Rio de Janeiro. Are bromeliads productive habitats for the invasive vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus? Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 104: 1171-1176.

O'MEARA, G. F., EVANS, L. F., GETTMAN, A. D., AND PATTERSON, A. W. 1995. Exotic tank bromeliads harboring immature Aedes albopictus and Aedes bahamensis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Florida. J. Vector Ecol. 20: 216-24.

ORIA, G. I., STEIN, M., AND GORODNER, J. O. 1999. Nuevos aportes en mosquitos (Diptera: Culicidae) de Resistencia, Chaco, Reunion de Comunicaciones Cientificas y Tecnologicas de la UNNE, tomo VI, Ciencias Biologicas, Editorial Universitaria de la Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Corrientes, pp. 31-34.

Oria, G. I., Stein, M., and Gorodner, J. O. 2002. Mosquitos, sus criaderos y factores socioculturales de la poblacion en el nordeste argentino, pp. 167-172 In O. D. Solomon [ed.], Actualizaciones en Artropodologia Sanitaria Argentina, Publication Monografica 2, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

PRADO, D. E. 1995. Selva pedemontana: contexto regional y lista floristica de un ecosistema en peligro, pp. 19-52 In A. D. Brown and H. R. Grau [eds.], Investigacion, Conservacion y Desarrollo en las selvas subtropicales de montana, Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecologicas de las Yungas, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Tucuman, Argentina.

SANTOS, C. B., LEITE, G. R., AND FALQUETO, A. 2010. Do native bromeliads represent important breeding sites for Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) in urbanized areas? Neotrop. Entomol. 40: 278-281.

SCHWEIGMANN, N. J., VEZZANI, D., VERA, T., GOMEZ, S., FERNANDEZ CAMPON, F., CEVASCO, C., FREIRE, G., KURUC, J., ACKERMANN, G., CARBAJO, A., BRUZZONE, O, A., BOFFI, R., AND ABRAMO ORREGO, L. 1997. Infestacion domiciliaria por formas inmaduras de Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti L. En un foco del partido de San Martin, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Entomol Vectores. 4: 185-190.

STEIN, M., AND ORIA, G. I. 2002. Identification de criaderos de Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) y calculo de indices de infestacion en la provincia del Chaco, pp. 161-166 In O. D. Solomon [ed.], Actualizaciones en Artropodologia Sanitaria Argentina, Publicacion Monografica 2, Buenos Aires.

STEIN, M., ORIA, G. I., AND ALMIRON, W. R. 2002. Principales criaderos para Aedes aegypti y culicidos asociados, Argentina. Rev. Saude Publica. 36: 627-630.

STEIN, M., ALMIRON, W. R., LUDUENA ALMEIDA, F., ZAPATA, L., MARI, E., AND GORODNER, J. O. 2007. Aedes aegypti y culicidos asociados (Diptera: Culicidae) en la ciudad de Corrientes, Argentina. www.siicsalud. com/dato/dat051/06d28002.htm.

STEIN, M., LUDUENA ALMEIDA, F., WILLENER, J. A., AND ALMIRON, W. R. 2011. Classification of immature mosquito species according to characteristics of the larval habitat in the subtropical province of Chaco, Argentina. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 106: 400-407.


(1) Instituto de Medicina Regional, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Avda. Las Heras 727, CP 3500, Resistencia, Chaco, Argentina

(2) Instituto Superior de Entomologia "Dr. Abraham Willink", Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Miguel Lillo 205, CP 4000 Tucuman, Argentina

(3) IAMRA, Universidad Nacional de Chilecito, 9 de Julio No. 22, CP F5360CKB, Chilecito, La Rioja, Argentina

Corresponding author; E-mail:

MAR 2013.

Mosquito species                Localities    characteristics

Aedes aegypti                   Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                  Iltico      Modified forest

Culex fernandezi                Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                Monte Bello   Primitive forest

Culex imitator                  Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                  Iltico      Modified forest
                                  Iltico      Modified forest

Culex quinquefasciatus          Monte Bello   Primitive forest

Toxorhynchites guadalupensis    Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                Monte Bello   Primitive forest
                                  Iltico      Modified forest
                                  Iltico      Modified forest

                                Collection       Number
Mosquito species                   date       of specimens

Aedes aegypti                   13.IX.2012      3 larvae
                                03.III.2013     2 larvae
                                03.III.2013     6 larvae

Culex fernandezi                13.IX.2012      3 larvae
                                03.III.2013    18 larvae

Culex imitator                  13.IX.2012     28 larvae
                                03.III.2013    15 larvae
                                13.IX.2013     27 larvae
                                03.III.2013    32 larvae

Culex quinquefasciatus          13.IX.2012    1 larva and
                                                 1 pupa

Toxorhynchites guadalupensis    13.IX.2012     18 larvae
                                03.III.2013     3 larvae
                                13.IX.2013     10 larvae
                                03.III.2013     5 larvae


Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.
COPYRIGHT 2013 Florida Entomological Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Scientific Notes
Author:Stein, Marina; Juri, Maria J. Dantur; Oria, Griselda I.; Ramirez, Patricia G.
Publication:Florida Entomologist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:Sep 1, 2013
Previous Article:First record of Diatraea tabernella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in the Cauca River Valley of Colombia.
Next Article:Palmistichus elaeisis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitizing pupae of hypsipyla grandella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters