Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 391–397 | Cite as

How important are aquatic predators to mosquito larval populations in natural wetlands? A case study from Carolina bays in Georgia

  • Darold P. Batzer
  • Kelly M. Murray
Original Paper


Predation is believed to be an important natural control on larval mosquito populations. However, empirical evidence for predator impacts is lacking, especially from natural wetlands (swamps and marshes). Over a 2-year period, we sampled larval mosquito populations and naturally co-occurring predator assemblages (aquatic invertebrates, fishes) from ten depressional wetlands (Carolina bays) located on a wildlife management area in east central Georgia. We collected a diversity of mosquito larvae and predators (odonates, bugs, beetles, flies, and fishes) from the wetlands, with predator numbers substantially exceeding mosquito larval numbers. However, using a community ecology approach with multivariate ordination and correlation techniques, we found no compelling evidence that these predators were controlling mosquito larval distributions (i.e. significant negative statistical associations were not detected). Those mosquitoes that successfully breed in Carolina bay wetlands (Culiseta melanura, Coquillettidia perturbans, Anopheles crucians) appear well adapted to co-exist with a plethora of naturally occurring predators.


Coquillettidia perturbans Culiseta melanura Natural mosquito control Wetland ecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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