Factors Affecting Short-Range Host-Seeking for the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae)

Mohamed F Sallam, Roberto M Pereira, Chris Batich, Philip Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Understanding short-range cues (e.g., host odorants, heat, moisture) of host-seeking female Aedes aegypti L. is very important for attempts to reduce mosquito bites, to complement current control strategies, and to develop potential spatial repellents. We investigated behavior under semi-field conditions utilizing a new portable uni-port taxis box with a caged chicken host. The combined influences of airflow regimes (0, 1.5, 3, 5, and 6 m/s), distance from host odor (10, 50, 100 cm), host-odor confinement (partial confinement/unconfined), and foraging periodicity (day/evening) were studied. Statistical regression analysis was used to delineate the significant factors that predict upwind flight behavior and short-range source location. Almost 15% of host-seeking Ae. aegypti were activated by an unconfined chicken odor in still air. This was double the number of attracted mosquitoes to confined host odor. The maximum behavioral response was reported with airflow of 5 m/s during daytime (76.7% ± 2.85) at a distance of 10 (70.7% ± 2.47) and 50 cm (56.7% ± 8.88). However, airflow of 6 m/s activated host-seeking orientation during evening assays. The host-seeking response between indoor and outdoor experiments was not significantly different and demonstrated the reliability of the portable taxis box in evaluating mosquito short-range behavioral response toward hosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes/physiology
  • Animals
  • Chemotaxis
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Mosquito Vectors/physiology
  • Odorants


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