The community of Diptera (Insecta) colonizing axils of Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don (Araceae), with records of Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in urban areas of Manaus, Amazonas
Abstract Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don grows and proliferates in shaded areas in several forest fragments in urban zones. The adult plant has axils that accumulate rain water (phytotelmata) and serve as breeding sites for several families of aquatic insects. The objective of this study was to determine the composition of the entomofauna associated with water accumulations in axils of A. macrorrhizos in urban areas of Manaus, Brazil. Individuals of A. macrorrhizos were sampled in five forest fragments, between April/2005 and March/2007 in urban areas of Manaus, totaling 184 sampling units. A manual suction hose was used for the removal of entomofauna. A total of 1,941 immatures of Diptera were collected representing the following families: Culicidae (96.5%), Chironomidae (2%), Psychodidae (0.7%), Ephydridae (0.7%) and Corethrellidae (0.1%). Five Culicidae species were identified: Wyeomyia melanocephala Dyar & Knab, 1906 (91.7%), Wy. ypsipola Dyar, 1922 (4.3%), Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) (2.3%), Ae. aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) (1.5%) and Johnbelkinia longipes (Fabricius, 1805) (0.1%). The members of Culicidae were the most abundant, confirming the importance of this group in communities associated with phytotelmata, with a positive relation to the volume of water (p < 0.05). The occurrence of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in axils of A. macrorrhizos demonstrates the potential of this Araceae as a breeding site of these medically important species. However, the real contribution of this Araceae in the maintenance and dispersion of populations of these two species of mosquitoes throughout the year should be further studied.