Volume 76, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Introduction of irrigation projects in developing nations has often been blamed for aggravating the problem of mosquito-borne diseases by creating ideal larval habitats for vector mosquitoes. However, whereas several studies have demonstrated the relationship between malaria vectors and irrigation, little work has been done on culicine mosquitoes despite their potential in transmission of filariasis and arboviruses and their significant biting nuisance in these areas. This study examined the diversity of mosquito fauna and their larval habitats at two sites (Murinduko and Kiamachiri) in Mwea, Kenya over a 12-month period. The habitat types present at each site within a 200-meter radius around the study village, including randomly selected paddies and canals, were sampled every two weeks to examine the relationship between vegetation cover, water depth, turbidity, and larval counts. Ten culicine species belonging to four genera were identified, with 73.1% of the total collection comprising of and . Other species collected included , , , , , ., , and . Murinduko was more diverse than Kiamachiri in terms of species richness (10 versus 7 species) and larval habitat diversity (11 versus 8 habitat types). Paddies, canals, and rain pools were the most diverse habitats in terms of species richness, and ditches, rock pools, and tree holes were the least diverse. Principal component and correlation analyses showed a strong association between three species and the measured habitat characteristics. was strongly associated with floating vegetation, with clean water containing emergent vegetation, and was associated with turbid water. Seasonal changes in larval counts in water reservoirs and pool and ditch habitats were closely associated with rainfall. These findings provide important information on larval habitat preference for different species, which will be useful in designing and implementation of larval control operations.


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  • Received : 03 Apr 2006
  • Accepted : 22 Sep 2006

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