Species Abundance and Colour Preferences of Oviposition by Mosquitoes in Man-Made Containers under Field Conditions in Sokoto, Nigeria
A study was conducted to determine the occurrence and colour preferences of oviposition by mosquitoes in man-made containers under field conditions. A total of nine (9) different colour 2 litre plastic containers were used as artificial mosquito oviposition containers. They were filled with equal amounts of water and placed in the biological garden of the Department of Biological Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. The containers were observed for seven (7) days for mosquito larvae. A total of 319 larvae belonging to four genera, Aedes, Anopheles, Culex and Mansonia were co-habiting/colonizing the garden. The highest occurring genus was Culex with 108 (33.9%) larvae, followed by Aedes with 92 (28.8%), Mansonia 79 (24.8%) and Anopheles with 40 (12.5%)
larvae. The colour preference of mosquitoes was in this order: red 25.4 % (81), brown 20.4 % (65), black 16.0% (51), blue 13.2% (42), purple 10.3% (33), pink 7.8% (25), green 6.3% (20), yellow 0.6% (2) and white 0% (0). Although many genera oviposited in more than one colour
container, the general distribution of larvae revealed that Aedes and Culex preferred red colour, Mansonia preferred brown container while Anopheles preferred black container. This study shows the importance of colour in determining the breeding sites and thus the occurrence of mosquitoes. The implications of such containers as possible breeding foci of mosquitoes of potential public health significance have been highlighted.
Key words: Colour preferences, Man-made containers, oviposition, Mosquito larvae