Laboratory experiments on stranding of Anopheles larvae under different shoreline environmental conditions

Title Laboratory experiments on stranding of Anopheles larvae under different shoreline environmental conditions
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2015
Authors Endo, N., Kiszewski, A. E. & Eltahir, E. A. B.
Journal Parasites & Vectors
Volume 8
Start Page 38


One of the concerns for future malaria epidemiology is the elevated risks of malaria around an ever-increasing number of dam sites. Controlling larval populations around reservoirs behind dams by manipulating the water levels of reservoirs could be an effective and sustainable measure for suppressing malaria epidemics; however, the effectiveness of the water-level manipulation and the contributing mechanisms have been poorly studied. In this paper, we focus on how water recession may lead to larval stranding.


Larvae of An. albimanus were studied to assess their susceptibility to stranding under different conditions representing reservoir shoreline environments in an experimental tank (50 cm × 100 cm). The tank was initially seeded with 80 larvae uniformly, and the numbers of larvae stranded on land and remaining in water were counted (summed up to recovered larvae), following the recession of water. The vertical water drawdown rate and the proportion of stranded larvae to recovered larvae (p) were measured. Shoreline conditions tested were inclinations of shore slopes (2% and 4%) and surface types (smooth, vegetated, rough, ridged).


For the 2% slopes, the proportions of stranded larvae (p) increased by about 0.002, 0.004, and 0.010 as the water drawdown rate increased by a centimeter per day on the smooth, rough, and vegetated surfaces, respectively. p for the 4% slopes were smaller than for the 2% slopes. Unlike other surface conditions, no significant correlation between p and the drawdown rate was observed on the ridged surface.


Larger proportions of Anopheles larvae were stranded at higher water drawdown rates, on smaller reservoir slopes, and under rough or vegetated surface conditions. Three mechanisms of larval stranding were identified: falling behind shoreline recession; entrapment in small closed water bodies; and inhabitation in shallow areas. Depending on the local vectors of Anopheles mosquitoes, the conditions for their favorable breeding sites correspond to the conditions for large larval stranding. If these conditions are met, water-level manipulation could be an effective measure to control malaria along shorelines of reservoirs behind dams.

DOI 10.1186/s13071-015-0644-5

Relevant Projects:
Hydrology and Malaria - Environmental Management in Ethiopia
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