Targeted elimination of species-rich larval habitats can rapidly collapse arbovirus vector mosquito populations at hotel compounds in Zanzibar

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Understanding the dynamics of larval habitat utilization by mosquito communities is crucial for the design of efficient environmental control strategies. The authors investigated the structure of mosquito communities found at hotel compounds in Zanzibar, networks of mosquito interactions with larval habitats and robustness of mosquito communities to elimination of larval habitats. A total of 23 698 mosquitoes comprising 26 species in six genera were found. Aedes aegypti (n = 16 207), Aedes bromeliae/Aedes lillie (n = 1340), Culex quinquefasciatus (n = 1300) and Eretmapodites quinquevitattus (n = 659) were the most dominant species. Ecological network analyses revealed the presence of dominant, larval habitat generalist species (e.g., A. aegypti), exploiting virtually all types of water holding containers and few larval habitat specialist species (e.g., Aedes natalensis, Orthopodomyia spp). Simulations of mosquito community robustness to systematic elimination of larval habitats indicate that mosquito populations are highly sensitive to elimination of larval habitats sustaining higher mosquito species diversity. This study provides insights on potential foci of future mosquito-borne arboviral disease outbreaks in Zanzibar and underscores the need for detailed knowledge on the ecological function of larval habitats for effective mosquito control by larval sources management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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© 2021 The Authors. Medical and Veterinary Entomology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Royal Entomological Society.

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