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J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2008 Jun;24(2):228-35.

Preference of female mosquitoes for natural and artificial resting sites.

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  • 1Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, AL 36849, USA.


At a wetland study site in Tuskegee National Forest, AL, resting female mosquitoes were collected from natural and artificial resting sites to identify species-specific resting sites and to evaluate various artificial resting sites for their utility in collecting resting mosquitoes. Natural resting sites included small tree cavities, large tree cavities, and understory vegetation. Artificial resting sites included resting boxes, fiber pots, and plastic trash cans. We collected 12,888 female mosquitoes, representing 23 species in 8 genera, during the 6-month study. Each mosquito species demonstrated a preference for a particular type of resting site. Resting Aedes vexans females were collected almost exclusively from understory vegetation, while the great majority of Anopheles quadrimaculatus females were aspirated from large tree cavities. Culex erraticus and Cx. peccator females preferred trash cans over other available resting sites. Females of Cx. territans, although collected most commonly in large tree cavities, were also collected frequently from understory vegetation and trash cans. A multiple regression of resting-site parameters (excluding vegetation), including volume, surface area, and opening size, indicated that 50% and 20% of the variability associated with An. quadrimaculatus and Cx. territans collections, respectively, could be explained by opening size. Inner surface area and volume accounted for 33% and 12% of variation in Cx. erraticus and Cx. peccator collections, respectively. Thus, female mosquitoes generally preferred larger resting sites over smaller resting sites. Similarly shaped artificial resting sites (fiber pots and trash cans) yielded comparable numbers of females per unit of volume (for those species that preferred artificial resting sites), indicating that shape of the resting site is an important factor in resting-site preference. In addition, trash cans proved to be a valuable novel tool for collecting resting female mosquitoes.

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