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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #220078

Title: Effectiveness of mosquito traps in measuring species abundance and composition

item Kline, Daniel - Dan
item Barnard, Donald

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Brown, H. E., Paladini, M., Cook, R. A., Kline, D. L., Barnard, D. R., Fish, D. 2008. Effectivness of mosquito traps in measuring species abundance and composition. Journal Medical Entomology. 45(3):517-521.

Interpretive Summary: The presence and abundance of mosquitoes that transmit disease agents to animals and humans is determined using mechanical traps that capture flying adult mosquitoes. Data acquired in this way are used to determine when and where to apply mosquito control measures for the purpose of preempting mosquito-borne disease epidemics. The effectiveness of mosquito control/disease prevention is dependent on the accuracy of the trapping data. In this study, scientists from the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL and Yale University, New Haven, CT showed that traps using new counterflow technology (e.g., the Mosquito Magnet) captured a greater number of mosquitoes than standard downdraft traps but not necessarily the entire range of mosquitoes that were present. These findings are important when comparing mosquito presence and abundance among types of mechanical traps, and for determining the need for mosquito control/disease prevention, because the number of mosquitoes collected may not accurately reflect the abundance or the real range of mosquito species that are present.

Technical Abstract: Mosquito species abundance and composition estimates provided by trapping devices are commonly used to guide control efforts, but knowledge of trap biases is necessary for accurately interpreting results. We compared the Mosquito Magnet – Pro, the Mosquito Magnet – X and the CDC Miniature Light Trap with respect to abundance, species diversity, and measures of recruitment in a wooded area of the Bronx Zoo in New York City. The Mosquito Magnet – Pro collected significantly more mosquitoes (n = 1,117, mean / night 124 ± 28.3) than the CDC Miniature Light Trap (n = 167, mean / night 19 ± 5.5) (ANOVA 15.76, P <0.01). The Simpson’s Diversity index was greatest for the Mosquito Magnet – Pro. A control trap 15 meters away from the experimental traps showed no significant differences in mosquito counts on nights with or without the experimental traps indicating the test traps did not recruit beyond 15 m. The traps differed significantly in abundance but were similar in maximum sampling area. Measured differences in abundance were independent of differences in diversity. This study highlights how differences between traps might affect species abundance and composition estimates.