Survival of immature Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) in aquatic habitats in Mwea rice irrigation scheme, central Kenya

Joseph M. Mwangangi, Ephantus J. Muturi, Josephat Shililu, Simon M. Muriu, Benjamin Jacob, Ephantus W. Kabiru, Charles M. Mbogo, John Githure, Robert Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The survivorship and distribution of Anopheles arabiensis larvae and pupae was examined in a rice agroecosystem in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, central Kenya, from August 2005 to April 2006, prior to implementation of larval control programme. Methods: Horizontal life tables were constructed for immatures in semi-field condition. The time spent in the various immature stages was determined and survival established. Vertical life tables were obtained from five paddies sampled by standard dipping technique. Results: Pre-adult developmental time for An. arabiensis in the trays in the experimental set up in the screen house was 11.85 days from eclosion to emergence. The mean duration of each instar stage was estimated to be 1.40 days for first instars, 2.90 days for second instars, 1.85 days for third instars, 3.80 days for fourth instars and 1.90 days for pupae. A total of 590 individuals emerged into adults, giving an overall survivorship from L1 to adult emergence of 69.4%. A total of 4,956 An. arabiensis immatures were collected in 1,400 dips throughout the sampling period. Of these, 55.9% were collected during the tillering stage, 42.5% during the transplanting period and 1.6% during the land preparation stage. There was a significant difference in the An. arabiensis larval densities among the five stages. Also there was significant variation in immature stage composition for each day's collection in each paddy. These results indicate that the survival of the immatures was higher in some paddies than others. The mortality rate during the transplanting was 99.9% and at tillering was 96.6%, while the overall mortality was 98.3%. Conclusion: The survival of An. arabiensis immatures was better during the tillering stage of rice growth. Further the survival of immatures in rice fields is influenced by the rice agronomic activities including addition of nitrogenous fertilizers and pesticides. For effective integrated vector management, the application of larvicides should target An. arabiensis larvae at the tillering stage (early vegetative stage of rice) when their survival in the aquatic habitats is high to significantly reduce them and the larvicides should be long-lasting to have a significant impact on the malaria vector productivity on the habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalMalaria Journal
StatePublished - Nov 24 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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