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Species composition and abundance of mosquito larvae in relation with their habitat characteristics in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran

  • S.H. Nikookar (a1), M. Fazeli-Dinan (a2), S. Azari-Hamidian (a3), S.N. Mousavinasab (a4), M. Arabi (a5), S.P. Ziapour (a1) (a6), J. Shojaee (a7) and A. Enayati (a8)...


Mosquitoes transmit a variety of diseases to humans. Their abundance and distribution are related to the characteristics of larval habitats. Mosquito larvae were collected from 120 natural and artificial habitats in 30 villages of 16 counties using standard 350 ml dippers and pipette, on a monthly basis from May–December 2014 in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran. Larval habitat characteristics were recorded separately, based on the conditions of the habitats (permanent or temporary, stagnant or running), type of habitats (natural or artificial), vegetation, exposure to sun, type of bed, water condition (clear or turbid), expanse (m), depth (cm, m) and temperature (°C) of habitats. The relationship between larval density and environmental variables was assessed by Chi-square tests. Totally, 19,840 larvae from three genera and 16 species were collected and identified. Anopheles maculipennis s.l. and Culex pipiens were the dominant species and collected with the highest density in plain areas. The highest number of larvae were collected from natural habitats (60.34%), including; river edge, marsh, pit and wetlands; with temporary and stagnant water, expanse of 0–5 m, depth of 1–25 cm, without plant, shadow-sun, muddy floor, turbid water, temperature 20–25°C and in sunny conditions. River edge and rice fields for An. maculipennis s.l and, wetlands and discarded tires for Cx. pipiens were the main larval habitats in the province. Statistical analysis revealed significant relation between occurrence of An. maculipennis s.l., Cx. pipiens, Culex torrentium, Culex mimeticus and Cs. annulata with each of the environmental variables (P < 0.001). These findings are essential in expanding our knowledge of the vectors ecology specially the type of habitat preference and will be beneficial in larval control programs.


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