Volume 74, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The hypothesis tested was that most pupae of are produced in a few types of containers so that vector control efforts could concentrate on eliminating the most productive ones and thus prevent dengue outbreaks. Pupal surveys were conducted twice in 2004 in an urban area in southern Puerto Rico. A total 35,030 immature mosquitoes (III and IV instars, pupae) was counted in 1,367 containers found with water in 624 premises during the first survey. Only pupae were counted in the second survey in 829 premises, 257 of which had containers with water, and 124 contained pupae (15%, 22% in the first survey). We found fewer (583) containers with water than in the first survey, but 202 had pupae (35%; 18.5% in first survey). Containers yielded 3,189 pupae, which was slightly fewer than those found in the first survey (3,388 pupae). The hypothesis was supported by the data, showing that 7 of 18 types of containers contained 80% of all female pupae. The most productive containers generally were also common. We used several criteria (i.e., container use, two-step cluster analysis based on environmental variables of containers and premises) to classify the containers and premises and to evaluate pupal distribution at various spatial scales (container, premise, and residences versus public areas). Most pupae were in 4 of 10 types of container usage categories. The cluster technique showed that most pupae were in unattended, rain-filled containers in the yards, particularly in receptacles in the shade of trees that received rainfall through foliage and had lower water temperatures. Pupal counts were adjusted to a negative binomial distribution, confirming their highly aggregated dispersal pattern. Cluster analysis showed that 61.3% of female pupae were in 40 (6.4%) of 624 premises that had in common their larger yards, number of trees, and container water volume. Using number of larvae, Breteau Index, or the presence of immature forms as indicators of pupal productivity is not as efficient in identifying the most productive types of containers as direct pupal counts.


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  • Received : 01 Aug 2005
  • Accepted : 04 Sep 2005
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