Mosquito community composition and abundance at contrasting sites in northern South Africa, 2014-2017

Todd Johnson, Leo Braack, Milehna Guarido, Marietjie Venter, Antonio Paulo Gouveia Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Most data on species associations and vector potential of mosquitoes in relation to arboviral infections in South Africa date back from the 1940s to late 1990s. Contextual information crucial for disease risk management and control, such as the sampling effort, diversity, abundance, and distribution of mosquitoes in large parts of South Africa still remains limited. Adult mosquitoes were collected routinely from two horse farms in Gauteng Province; two wildlife reserves in Limpopo Province, at Orpen Gate in Kruger National Park (KNP) and Mnisi Area in Mpumalanga Province between 2014-2017, using carbon dioxide-baited light and tent traps. Mosquito diversity and richness are greater in untransformed natural and mixed rural settings. In untransformed wilderness areas, the most dominant species were Culex poicilipes, Anopheles coustani, and Aedes mcintoshi, while in mixed rural settings such as the Mnisi area, the two most abundant species were Cx. poicilipes and Mansonia uniformis. However, in peri-urban areas, Cx. theileri, Cx. univittatus, and Cx. pipiens sensu lato were the most dominant. Aedes aegypti, Ae. mcintoshi, Ae. metallicus, Ae. vittatus, Cx. pipiens s.l., Cx. theileri, and Cx. univittatus had the widest geographical distribution in northern South Africa. Also collected were Anopheles arabiensis and An. vaneedeni, both known malaria vectors in South Africa. Arbovirus surveillance and vector control programs should be augmented in mixed rural and peri-urban areas where the risk for mosquito-borne disease transmission to humans and domestic stock is greater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2020


  • Mosquitoes
  • Landscape
  • Distribution
  • Sampling
  • Diversity
  • Species richness


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