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Does habitat modification affect oviposition by the salt marsh mosquito, Ochlerotatus vigilax (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae)?

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Studies were conducted at sites in south-east Queensland, Australia, to investigate the effect of habitat modification for mosquito control on the distribution of eggshells of the salt marsh mosquito, Ochlerotatus vigilax (Skuse). Modifications were mainly runnelling, but an Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM) site and a grid-ditched site were also included. There were two separate experimental designs: one was data collected Before and After (BA) modification and the other was for other sites with a Treatment and Control (TC) experimental design. For the BA data, there were significant reductions in eggshells after modification. Eggshells were generally fewer after modification in areas which were close to unrestricted tidal flushing. A sandy substrate and vegetation changes which resulted in reduced Sporobolus virginicus or mixed Sporobolus and Sarcocornia quinqueflora also contributed to the effect. In the TC experiment, there was no effect of modification at the runnelled site, eggshells were fewer at the OMWM site, but there were more eggshells at the grid-ditched site. There was some general indication that recent oviposition activity was reduced in sites that had been modified, evidenced by a relatively small proportion of young (dark coloured) eggshells.
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Keywords: Ochlerotatus vigilax; eggshells; habitat modification; mosquito; oviposition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld 4111, Australia. 2: Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Box Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, Qld 4029, Australia. 3: Tropical Public Health Unit, Queensland Health, PO Box 1103, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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