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Annu Rev Entomol. 2007;52:489-507.

Interactions between mosquito larvae and species that share the same trophic level.

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Community Ecology Laboratory, Institute of Evolution, Faculty of Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel.


Ecological theory predicts, and empirical research shows, that species sharing the same trophic level as a target species (hereafter controphic species) can have large direct and indirect effects on the target species by sharing resources and/or by serving as alternative prey to predators. Yet, the roles of controphic species of mosquito larvae in affecting mosquito populations have received little attention. Published empirical evidence, although scarce, suggests that controphic species such as zooplankton and anuran larvae compete with mosquito larvae, can positively affect mosquito larvae by consuming bacteria that are pathogenic to mosquito larvae, reduce predation on mosquito larvae by serving as alternative prey, and ultimately cause increased predation on mosquito larvae by causing a numerical response in the predator. We conclude that more extensive theoretical and empirical studies in elucidating the roles of controphic species will better allow us to predict mosquito population dynamics and allow for better management of mosquitoes.

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