The implementation of the sterile insect technique for area-wide vector control requires that natural population density be accurately estimated to determine both the appropriate time to treat and the adequate number of sterile males for release. Herein, we used mark-release-recapture (MRR) to derive seasonal abundance estimates of Aedes albopictus population sizes within a delimited geographical area in Reunion Island. Population size of Ae. albopictus was estimated through four mark-release-recapture experiments carried out separately in different seasons. Marked males and females were released each time, and recaptured using BG sentinel traps for six consecutive days. Data were used to estimate the population size using a conceptual model that incorporates the variation in daily mortality rates. The likely influence of environmental factors on the magnitude of catches and on population fluctuation was analyzed. A total of 2827 mosquitoes (1914 males and 913 females) were marked and released on four occasions during dry and wet seasons. After release, 138 males (7.21%) and 86 females (9.41%) of the marked specimens were recaptured in subsequent samplings. The effectiveness of the daily captures of wild and released mosquitoes was significantly influenced by meteorological conditions such as temperature, rainfall, wind speed and light intensity. The estimates of Ae. albopictus population size obtained with our model estimator ranged from 298 to 1238 males and 604 to 2208 females per ha, with seasonal variability - higher population size in the humid season. The presented results will be essential in designing more effective sterile male release strategies for long-term suppression of wild Ae. albopictus populations.
Keywords: Aedes albopictus; Chikungunya; Dengue; Environmental factors; MRR; Population estimation; SIT.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.