Ornamental bromeliads of Miami-Dade County, Florida are important breeding sites for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

André B.B. Wilke, Chalmers Vasquez, Paul J. Mauriello, John C. Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: A major public health concern is the emergence and geographical spread of vector-borne diseases such as Zika and yellow fever. Ornamental bromeliads retaining water in their leaf axils represent potential breeding sites for mosquitoes. As the role of ornamental bromeliads in breeding Aedes aegypti in Miami-Dade County, Florida is unknown, we hypothesize that ornamental bromeliads are important breeding sites for Ae. aegypti. Our objective was to survey bromeliads in areas with high densities of adult Ae. aegypti, including those with 2016 local transmission of Zika virus. Methods: Ornamental bromeliads were surveyed for the presence of immature mosquitoes at 51 locations of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Bromeliads were sampled for the presence of immature stages of mosquitoes, their reservoirs were drained and screened for the presence of immature mosquitoes. Immature mosquitoes were stored in plastic containers and preserved in 70% ethanol until morphological identification. Biodiversity of species assemblages was assessed by Shannon's and Simpson's indices, and individual rarefaction curves and plots of cumulative abundance, Shannon's index and evenness profiles. Results: Ornamental bromeliads were present in all surveyed areas, yielding a total of 765 immature mosquitoes, comprising five taxonomic units: Ae. aegypti, Wyeomyia mitchellii, Wyeomyia vanduzeei, Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex biscaynensis. The biodiversity indices point to a low diversity scenario with a highly dominant species, Ae. aegypti. Discussion: Our findings suggest that ornamental bromeliads are contributing for the proliferation of Ae. aegypti in the County of Miami-Dade, which may indicate a shift in the paradigm of usage of bromeliads as breeding sites, highlighting that ornamental phytotelmata bromeliads are to be considered in future vector-control strategies to control Zika and other arboviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number283
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 17 2018


  • Bromeliaceae
  • Urbanization
  • Vector ecology
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Ornamental bromeliads of Miami-Dade County, Florida are important breeding sites for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this