The effects of rainfall and evapotranspiration on the temporal dynamics of Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis in a Kenyan village

Acta Trop. 2004 Apr;90(2):141-53. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2003.11.007.


The population dynamics of the larval and adult life stages of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae Giles were studied in Miwani, western Kenya, in relation to meteorological conditions. Larval density within a habitat, the number of larval habitats and sibling species composition were investigated as determinants of larval population dynamics. Female vector densities inside local houses and sibling species composition were investigated as determinants of adult population dynamics. Larval densities were estimated using a modified area-sampling method. Within the habitats, all instars showed a highly aggregated distribution, with the exception of second instars. A longitudinal study on the larval populations of A. gambiae s.l. in two different types of habitat (dirt track and ditch) was carried out, using a novel sampling procedure. A. gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis, the two sibling species occurring sympatrically in the study area, showed some spatial segregation between the two types of habitat. Rainfall was significantly correlated with the number of A. gambiae s.l. larval habitats during the first 6 weeks of study taking 1 week time lag into account, while over the entire 5-month study period correlations were less clear. With 1 week time lag, rainfall was also significantly correlated with the number of female A. gambiae s.l. collected from CDC-light traps in the study houses. Both larval and adult populations showed a significant increase in the proportion of A. gambiae s.s. within the mixed population of A. gambiae s.s. and A. arabiensis over time. Although not significantly correlated, the ratio of rainfall over precipitation/potential evapotranspiration (P/PE), indicative of the humidity conditions in the area, was probably the driving force of this increase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles*
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Larva
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Plant Transpiration*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Rain*
  • Rural Population
  • Time Factors