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Spatial distribution pattern of ornithophilic mosquitoes along the vertical axis in forest habitats

Authors:

W. G. D. Chathuranga,

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About W. G. D.

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science

 

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya

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T. C. Weereratne,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About T. C.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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S. H. P. P. Karunaratne,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About S. H. P. P.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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W. A. P. P. De Silva

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About W. A. P. P.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

The spatial and temporal distribution of hosts is crucial in determining the feeding behaviour of hematophagous insects. We explored the spatial distribution of ornithophilic mosquitoes along the vertical axis in four locations covered with forests in Sri Lanka, i.e. Hanthana forest reserve (HAN), Halgolla forest reserve (HAL), Peradeniya university park (UOP), and Gampola (GAM). Mosquitoes were collected using bird-baited traps set at different height levels; 1 m (forest floor), 3 m (understory vegetation), and 6 m (canopy level), from 6.00-10.00 p.m. in 20 sampling sessions. Mosquitoes were identified using standard taxonomic keys and DNA barcodes of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. A total of 1212 mosquitoes belonging to 15 species and seven genera were collected and the highest numbers were reported from canopy level [HAN (219; 53.3%), HAL (93; 49.5%), GAM (136; 45.5%), and UOP (163; 51.7%)]. Culex pseudovishnui was the only species distributed evenly along the vertical axis. Although the mosquito abundance was significantly different along with three height levels, the diversity was not significantly different. Generalized feeders were common in patchy forests located close to human settlements and more specialized feeders were found close to natural forests. The findings of the study are important in understanding the interaction between ornithophilic mosquitoes with residing avifauna in each forest strata.
How to Cite: Chathuranga, W. G. D., Weereratne, T. C., Karunaratne, S. H. P. P., & De Silva, W. A. P. P. (2022). Spatial distribution pattern of ornithophilic mosquitoes along the vertical axis in forest habitats. Ceylon Journal of Science, 51(3), 209–216. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v51i3.8029
Published on 21 Sep 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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