Skip to main content

Characterization of Anopheles mosquito larval habitats and species composition in Bambasi District, Northwestern Ethiopia


Malaria is a widespread vector-borne disease in the tropics and subtropics causing nearly half a million deaths every year. Malaria vector control intervention mainly rely on the control of adults using Indoor residual sprayings (IRS) and long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). The purpose of this study was to assess the species composition of Anopheles mosquitoes and determine the environmental and physicochemical parameters of their breeding habitats in Bambasi district, Benshangul Gumuz regional state, northwestern Ethiopia. Three major Anopheles breeding habitats were identified in three Kebeles namely; drainage ditch (Keshmando), swamp (Amba 46), and stagnant water (Amba 47). Anopheles mosquito larvae were sampled twice a month from September 2020 to November 2020. A total of 2185 Anopheles mosquito larvae were collected. Of those collected larvae three Anopheles species (Anopheles gambiae s.l. An. funestus and An. coustani complex) were identified. Anopheles gambiae s.l was the most abundant whereas An. funestus and An. coustani were the least in all the study kebeles. Of the three kebeles, Amba 47 was found the most productive for Anopheles followed by Amba 46 and Keshmando. The highest mean density of larvae per dip was sampled in September in all the study sites. The three sampling sites varied in physicochemical characteristics. The findings of this study showed that dissolved oxygen (DO) was highest (7.07 \(\pm\) 0.55 mg/L) in the swamps and lowest (0.32 \(\pm\) 0.04 mg/L) in the drainage ditches. Conductivity across different habitats showed wide variations. There were slight variations in temperature between different habitats. Higher total dissolved solids (TDS) 12.19 \(\pm\) 0.26 mg/L was recorded from the drainage ditches; whereas TDS 9.49 \(\pm\) 1.62 mg/L was recorded from the swamp. Salinity in the drainage ditches and stagnant water was 5.54 \(\pm\) 1.00PSU and 3.30 \(\pm\) 0.97 PSU respectively. There were negative strong correlation between the larval density with temperature and EC but positive correlation between larval density with salinity. However, there was no significant correlation between Anopheles larval density with TDS and DO. In conclusion this study suggested that environmental and physicochemical factors could play an important role in the development of mosquito larvae. Therefore, characterizing mosquito larval habitats is important for targeted control of malaria vectors in Ethiopia.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Availability of data and material

The datasets supporting the conclusions of this article are included within the article.

Code availability

Not applicable.



Dissolved Oxygen


Electrical Conductivity


Federal Ministry of Health


Indoor Residual Spraying


Long-lasting Insecticidal Net


Hydrogen ion concentration


President’s Malaria Initiative


Statistical package for social sciences


Total dissolved solids


World Health Organization


  • Abose T, Ye-ebiyo Y, Olana D, Alamirew D, Beyene Y, Regassa L (1998) Re-orientation and definition of the role of malaria vector control in Ethiopia. WHO/MAL/98.1085 World Health Organization

  • Alemayehu E, Asale A, Eba K, Getahun K, Tushune K, Bryon A, Morou E, Vontas J, Van Leeuwen T, Duchateau L, Yewhalaw D (2017) Mapping insecticide resistance and characterization of resistance mechanisms in Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Ethiopia. Parasit Vectors 10(1):1–11.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carter TE, Yared S, Gebresilassie A, Bonnell V, Damodaran L, Lopez K, Ibrahim M, Mohammed S, Janies D (2018) First detection of Anopheles stephensi Liston, 1901 (Diptera: culicidae) in Ethiopia using molecular and morphological approaches. Acta Trop 188(September):180–186.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Castro MC, Tsuruta A, Kanamori S, Kannady K, Mkude S (2009) Community-Based Environmental Management for Malaria Control : Evidence from a Small-Scale Intervention in Dar Es Salaam 11:1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Closs G, Downes B, Boulton A (2003) Freshwater Ecology, Blackwell Publishing

  • Coetzee M (2020) Key to the females of Afrotropical Anopheles mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Malar J 19(1):1–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cox FE (2010) History of the discovery of the malaria. Parasit Vectors 3(5):1–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Degefa T, Zeynudin A, Godesso A, Michael YH, Eba K, Zemene E, Emana D, Birlie B, Tushune K, Yewhalaw D (2015) Malaria incidence and assessment of entomological indices among resettled communities in Ethiopia: A longitudinal study. Malar J 14(1):1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dejenie T, Yohannes M, Assmelash T (2011) Characterization of Mosquito Breeding Sites in and in the Vicinity of Tigray Microdams. Ethiop J Health Sci 21(1):57–66.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Deribew A, Dejene T, Kebede B, Tessema GA, Melaku YA, Misganaw A, Gebre T, Hailu A, Biadgilign S, Amberbir A, Yirsaw BD, Abajobir AA, Shafi O, Abera SF, Negussu N, Mengistu B, Amare AT, Mulugeta A, Mengistu B, Stanaway JD (2017) Incidence, prevalence and mortality rates of malaria in Ethiopia from 1990 to 2015: Analysis of the global burden of diseases 2015. Malar J 16(1):1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dida GO, Anyona DN, Abuom PO, Akoko D, Adoka SO, Matano AS, Owuor PO, Ouma C (2018) Spatial distribution and habitat characterization of mosquito species during the dry season along the Mara River and its tributaries, in Kenya and Tanzania. Infect Dis Poverty 7(1):1–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Emidi B, Kisinza WN, Mmbando BP, Malima R, Mosha FW (2017) Effect of physicochemical parameters on Anopheles and Culex mosquito larvae abundance in different breeding sites in a rural setting of Muheza Tanzania. Parasit Vectors 10(1):1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • FMoH (2014) An Epidemiological Profile of Malaria in Mali. Programme National de Lutte Contre Le Paludisme (PNLP), February, 1–88.

  • Gaffigan TV, Wilkerson RC, Pecor JE, Stoffer JA, Anderson T (2018) Systematic Catalog of Culicidae. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, Division of Ecology, Walter Reed Army institute of Research, Silver Spring. Accessed on: 3/22/2021. From

  • Getachew D, Balkew M, Tekie H (2020) Anopheles larval species composition and characterization of breeding habitats in two localities in the Ghibe River Basin, southwestern Ethiopia. Malar J 19(1):1–13.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gimmg JE, Ombok M, Kamau L, Hawley WA (2001) Characteristics of larval anopheline (Diptera: Culicidae) habitats in western Kenya. J Med Entomol 38(2):282–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gimnig JE, Ombok M, Otieno S, Kaufman MG, Vulule JM, Walker ED (2002) Density-dependent development of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae in artificial habitats. J Med Entomol 39(1):162–172.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gillies MT, Coetzee M (1987) A supplement to the Anophelinae of Africa South of the Sahara (Afrotropical Region). Johannesburg publications of the South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg

    Google Scholar 

  • Girum T, Shumbej T, Shewangizaw M (2019) Burden of malaria in Ethiopia, 2000–2016: Findings from the Global Health Estimates 2016. Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines 5(1):5–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gu W, Utzinger J, Novak RJ (2008) Habitat-based larval interventions: A new perspective for malaria control. Am J Trop Med Hyg 78(1):2–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hawaria D, Demissew A, Kibret S, Lee MC, Yewhalaw D, Yan G (2020) Effects of environmental modification on the diversity and positivity of anopheline mosquito aquatic habitats at Arjo-Dedessa irrigation development site Southwest Ethiopia. Infect Dis Poverty 9(1):1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Himeidan YE, Zhou G, Yakob L, Afrane Y, Munga S, Atieli H, El-Rayah EA, Githeko AK, Yan G (2009) Habitat stability and occurrences of malaria vector larvae in western Kenya highlands. Malar J 8(1):1–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hurni H, Berhe WA, Chadhokar P, Daniel D, Gete Z, Grunder M, Kassaye G (2016) Soil and Water Conservation in Ethiopia: Guidelines for Development Agents. Second revised edition. Bern, Switzerland: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, with Bern Open Publishing (BOP). 134pp

  • Imam A, Deeni Y (2015) Larval Productivity and Detoxification Enzymes Profile in Response to Physico-chemical Environmental Factors of Anopheles gambiae Breeding Ecologies in Nigeria. British Journal of Applied Science & Technology 5(6):595–612.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kenawy MA, Ammar SE, Abdel-Rahman HA (2013) Physico-chemical characteristics of the mosquito breeding water in two urban areas of Cairo Governorate Egypt. Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research 45(3):17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kenea O, Balkew M, Gebre-Michael T (2011) Environmental factors associated with larval habitats of anopheline mosquitoes (diptera: Culicidae) in irrigation and major drainage areas in the middle course of the rift valley, central ethiopia. J Vector Borne Dis 48(2):85–92

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kenea O, Balkew M, Tekie H, Gebre-Michael T, Deressa W, Loha E, Lindtjørn B, Overgaard HJ (2016) Human-biting activities of Anopheles species in south-central Ethiopia. Parasit Vectors 9(1):1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kibret S, Wilson GG, Ryder D, Tekie H, Petros B (2018) Can water-level management reduce malaria mosquito abundance around large dams in sub-Saharan Africa? 1–12

  • Lulu M, Hadis M, Makonnen Y, Asfaw T (1999) Inversion polymorphisms on anopheles arabiensis chromosomes from several regions of ethiopia. Insect Science and Its Application 19(2–3):207–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mahgoub MM, Kweka EJ, Himeidan YE (2017) Characterisation of larval habitats, species composition and factors associated with the seasonal abundance of mosquito fauna in Gezira Sudan. Infect Dis Poverty 6(1):1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mereta ST, Yewhalaw D, Boets P, Ahmed A, Duchateau L, Speybroeck N, Vanwambeke SO, Legesse W, De Meester L, Goethals PL (2013) Physico-Chemical and biological characterization of anopheline mosquito larval habitats Diptera: Culicidae: Implications for malaria control. Parasit Vectors 6(1):1–16.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Messenger LA, Shililu J, Irish SR, Anshebo GY, Tesfaye AG, Ye-Ebiyo Y, Chibsa S, Dengela D, Dissanayake G, Kebede E, Zemene E, Asale A, Yohannes M, Taffese HS, George K, Fornadel C, Seyoum A, Wirtz RA, Yewhalaw D (2017) Insecticide resistance in Anopheles arabiensis from Ethiopia (2012–2016): A nationwide study for insecticide resistance monitoring. Malar J 16(1):1–14.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Minakawa N, Dida GO, Sonye GO, Futami K, Njenga SM (2012) Malaria vectors in Lake Victoria and adjacent habitats in Western Kenya. PLoS ONE, 7(3).

  • Minakawa N, Mutero CM, Githure JI, Beier JC, Yan G (1999) Spatial distribution and habitat characterization of anopheline mosquito larvae in western Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 61(6):1010–1016.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mosissa D, Mohammed A, Tesfaye Y (2019) The Effectiveness of Soil and Water Conservation as Climate Smart Agricultural Practice and Its Contribution to Smallholder Farmers’ Livelihoods. The Case of Bambasi District Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, Northwest of Ethiopia. World Journal of Agriculture and Soil Science (WJASS) 2 (4), 17pages.

  • Munga S, Minakawa N, Zhou G, Barrack OOJ, Githeko AK, Yan G (2005) Oviposition site preference and egg hatchability of Anopheles gambiae: Effects of land cover types. J Med Entomol 42(6):993–997.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mwangangi JM, Mbogo CM, Muturi EJ, Nzovu JG, Githure JI, Yan G, Minakawa N, Novak R, Beier JC (2007) Spatial distribution and habitat characterisation of Anopheles larvae along the Kenyan coast. J Vector Borne Dis 44(1):44–51

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Nambunga IH, Ngowo HS, Mapua SA, Hape EE, Msugupakulya BJ, Msaky DS, Mhumbira NT, McHwembo KR, Tamayamali GZ, Mlembe SV, Njalambaha RM, Lwetoijera DW, Finda MF, Govella NJ, Matoke-Muhia D, Kaindoa EW, Okumu FO (2020) Aquatic habitats of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus in rural south-eastern Tanzania. Malar J 19(1):1–11.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Okogun GRA, Nwoke BEB, Okere AN, Anosike JC, Esekhegbe AC (2003) Epidemiological implications of preferences of breeding sites of mosquito species in Midwestern Nigeria. Ann Agric Environ Med 10(2):217–222

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Okogun GR, Anugboba. (2005) Life-table analysis of Anopheles malaria vectors: Generational mortality as tool in mosquito vector abundance and control studies. J Vector Borne Dis 42(2):45–53

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Opoku A, Ansa-Asare O (2009) The occurrences and habitat characteristics of mosquitoes in Accra, Ghana. West Afr J App Ecol 11(1).

  • Overgaard HJ, Tsuda Y, Suwonkerd W, Takagi M (2002) Characteristics of Anopheles minimus (Diptera: Culicidae) larval habitats in northern Thailand. Environ Entomol 31(1):134–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paaijmans KP, Takken W, Githeko AK, Jacobs AFG (2008) The effect of water turbidity on the near-surface water temperature of larval habitats of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Int J Biometeorol 52(8):747–753.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • PMI (2020) Project Final Entomology Report. May 2018

  • Sattler MA, Mtasiwa D, Kiama M, Premji Z, Tanner M, Killeen GF, Lengeler C (2005) Habitat characterization and spatial distribution of Anopheles sp. mosquito larvae in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) during an extended dry period. Malar J 4:1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Service M (2008) Medical entomology for students, fourth edition. In Medical Entomology for Students, Fourth Edition.

  • Shililu J, Ghebremeskel T, Mengistu S, Fekadu H, Zerom M, Mbogo C, Githure J, Gu W, Novak R, Beier JC (2003) Distribution of anopheline mosquitoes in Eritrea. Am J Trop Med Hyg 69(3):295–302.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Simisek FM (2004) Seasonal Larval and Adult Population Dynamics and Breeding Habitat Diversity of Culex theileri Theobald, 1903 (Diptera : Culicidae) in the Gölbafl › District, Ankara, Turkey *. Turkish Journal of Zoology 28:337–344

    Google Scholar 

  • Sinka ME, Bangs MJ, Manguin S, Rubio-Palis Y, Coetzee TCM, Mbogo CM, Charles M, Hemingway J, Patil AP, Temperley WH, Gething PW, Kabaria CW, Burkot TR, Harbach RE, Hay SI (2012) A global map of dominant malaria vectors. Parasit Vectors 5(69).

  • Sinka ME, Rubio-Palis Y, Manguin S, Patil AP, Temperley WH, Gething PW, Van Boeckel T, Kabaria CW, Harbach RE, Hay SI (2011) Erratum: The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in the Americas: Occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis (Parasit Vectors (2010) 3 (72)). Parasit Vectors 4(1):1–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sunahara T, Ishizaka K, Mogi M (2002) Habitat size: a factor determining the opportunity for encounters between mosquito larvae and aquatic predators. J Vector Ecol 27:8–20

  • Taffese HS, Hemming-Schroeder E, Koepfli C, Tesfaye G, Lee MC, Kazura J, Yan GY, Zhou GF (2018) Malaria epidemiology and interventions in Ethiopia from 2001 to 2016. Infect Dis Poverty 7(1):1–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Teklu BM, Tekie H, Mccartney M, Kibret S (2010) The effect of water physical quality and water level changes on the occurrence and density of larvae of Anopheles mosquitoes around the shoreline of the Koka reservoir, Central Ethiopia. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci Discuss 7(4):6025–6055.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Umar AM (2014) Characterisation of Anopheles Mosquitoes, Breeding Sites and Retrospective Study of Malaria in Katsina State, Nigeria

  • Utzinger È, Tozan Y, Singer BH (2001) Ef® cacy and cost-effectiveness of environmental management for malaria control. 6(9):677–687

  • Wamae PM, Githeko AK, Menya DM, Takken, W (2010) Shading by Napier Grass Reduces Malaria Vector Larvae in Natural Habitats in Western Kenya Highlands. 485–497.

  • White G (1982) Malaria Vector Ecology and Genetics. Br Med Bull 38

  • WHO (2020) World Malaria Report 2020. In WHO (Vol. 73, Issue 1).

  • Yewhalaw D, Van Bortel W, Denis L, Coosemans M, Duchateau L, Speybroeck N (2010) First evidence of high knockdown resistance frequency in Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) from Ethiopia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 83(1):122–125.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Yohannes M, Boelee E (2012) Early biting rhythm in the afro-tropical vector of malaria, Anopheles arabiensis, and challenges for its control in Ethiopia. Med Vet Entomol 26(1):103–105.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Yohannes M, Haile M, Ghebreyesus TA, Witten KH, Getachew A (2005) Can source reduction of mosquito larval habitat reduce malaria transmission in Tigray, Ethiopia? 10(12), 1274–1285.

Download references


The authors are grateful to the department of Biology, Jimma University for the financial support of the study. We are also grateful to the Department of Biology, Assosa University for the logistic support.


The study was financially supported by Department of Biology, Jimma University, Ethiopia.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



HK, DE, DY and EA conceived and designed the study. HK performed the field and laboratory experiments and drafted the manuscript. DY and EA supervised the experiments. GM did statistical analysis. TN, MW, GN and DY critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eba Alemayehu Simma.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval

Not applicable.

Consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Keno, H., Ejeta, D., Negisho, T. et al. Characterization of Anopheles mosquito larval habitats and species composition in Bambasi District, Northwestern Ethiopia. Int J Trop Insect Sci 42, 2325–2336 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Anopheles mosquitoes
  • Larval habitats
  • Physicochemical characteristic
  • Bambasi
  • Ethiopia