Resting environments of some Costa Rican mosquitoes



The resting sites of tropical American mosquitoes are poorly documented, and the few reports that do exist are largely from opportunistic collections. Since blood-engorged females (used in determining host associations) are more efficiently collected from resting sites than attractive traps, information on resting site utilization has practical value. To investigate differences in the resting sites utilized by tropical mosquitoes, we collected and identified female mosquitoes from one man-made (resting shelter) and three natural (buttress tree roots, hollow trees, and understory vegetation) resting environments at a tropical dry forest location in western Costa Rica. All of the most common species collected demonstrated associations with one or more resting environments. Females of five species (blood-engorged Anopheles albimanus, Uranotaenia apicalis, Uranotaenia lowii, Uranotaenia orthodoxa, and blood-engorged Mansonia titillans) were collected in significantly greater numbers from understory vegetation than other resting environments. Culex erraticus and other members of the subgenus Melanoconion were encountered more often in resting shelters, hollow trees, and buttress roots, while Culex restrictor (blood-engorged) females were associated with hollow trees. Similarity indices indicate that buttress tree roots, hollow trees, and resting shelters are similar with respect to the mosquito communities that utilize them as resting sites, while understory vegetation has a resting fauna that is different than the other environments surveyed here. These results add to the body of information regarding resting sites utilized by tropical American mosquitoes.