The Effects of pH on the Rate of Successful Egg Hatches in Aedes aegypti
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Aedes aegypti, a common species of mosquito, is the primary vector for many deadly diseases, such as yellow fever, Zika, chikungunya, and dengue fever. Considerable efforts have been made by public health advocates to educate property owners in vulnerable areas about the risks of leaving out artificial containers that can collect rainwater and become prime breeding grounds for Ae. aegypti. With rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the degree of rainwater acidification increases each year. This experiment therefore sought to determine if there was a correlation between solution pH and the rate of successful hatches in Ae. aegypti eggs. It was hypothesized that more neutral pHs would see the largest percentage of successful egg hatches, while hatch rates in more acidic or basic solutions would see a diminished percentage. To test this, 10-25 eggs laid from a single cohort of female Ae. aegypti were placed in five solutions of different pHs and the viability of the eggs was determined by counting the number of larvae in each solution after an hour. Finally, the data was analyzed using a simple linear regression in order to determine the correlation, if any, between the two variables. No statistical significance was found between pH and hatching viability of Aedes aegypti eggs. Further research would have to be done to make a conclusion on the effect of pH on the rate of hatching for Aedes aegypti in their natural environment.