Characterisation of Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) larval habitats at ground level and temporal fluctuations of larval abundance in Córdoba, Argentina.

Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

PubMedID: 24037200

Grech M, Sartor P, Estallo E, Ludueña-Almeida F, Almirón W. Characterisation of Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) larval habitats at ground level and temporal fluctuations of larval abundance in Córdoba, Argentina. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2013;108(6):772-7.
The aims of this study were to characterise the ground-level larval habitats of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, to determine the relationships between habitat characteristics and larval abundance and to examine seasonal larval-stage variations in Córdoba city. Every two weeks for two years, 15 larval habitats (natural and artificial water bodies, including shallow wells, drains, retention ponds, canals and ditches) were visited and sampled for larval mosquitoes. Data regarding the water depth, temperature and pH, permanence, the presence of aquatic vegetation and the density of collected mosquito larvae were recorded. Data on the average air temperatures and accumulated precipitation during the 15 days prior to each sampling date were also obtained. Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae were collected throughout the study period and were generally most abundant in the summer season. Generalised linear mixed models indicated the average air temperature and presence of dicotyledonous aquatic vegetation as variables that served as important predictors of larval densities. Additionally, permanent breeding sites supported high larval densities. In Córdoba city and possibly in other highly populated cities at the same latitude with the same environmental conditions, control programs should focus on permanent larval habitats with aquatic vegetation during the early spring, when the Cx. quinquefasciatus population begins to increase.