GLEISER Raquel Miranda
Spatial pattern of abundance of the mosquito, Ochlerotatus albifasciatus, in relation to habitat characteristics
GLEISER, R.M.; G. SCHELOTTO; D.E. GORLA
MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY
Año: 2002 vol. 16 p. 364 - 371
AbstractOchlerotatus albifasciatus (Macquart) (Diptera: Culicidae) is the main vector of the western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) virus and potentially of other arboviruses in Argentina. Surges of adult population abundance during the rainy season are a nuisance, affecting milk and beef production. Larvae develop in short periods in shallow temporary ground pools on fresh or brackish water. Although adults seem to disperse long distances from larval habitats, little is known about their habitat preferences. This work studied factors affecting the spatial pattern of adult Oc. albifasciatus abundance. Adult mosquitoes were collected using CDC miniature light traps baited with CO2 at 28 sites located to the south of Mar Chiquita Lagoon, from November 1997 to April 1998. Each site was typified according to its predominating vegetation cover, potential breeding site occurrence, land slope and cattle density. The spatial and temporal patterns of abundance suggested that Oc. albifasciatus prefers prairies and natural grasslands subject to periodic flooding vs. woodland and farm land. A discriminant function based on the proximity to potential larval habitats, distance to woodland and land slope accurately classified 95% of the data categorized as having an average high (>500 mosquitoes) or low (<500 mosquitoes) abundance, and was validated using six sites located away from the study area. An analysis of the temporal variation of mosquito abundance highlighted the influence of the dynamics of the larval habitats on adult mosquito abundance.