Larval ecology is an important aspect of the population dynamics of anopheline mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), the vectors of malaria. Anopheles larvae live in pools of stagnant water and adult fitness may be correlated with the nutritional conditions under which larvae develop. A study was conducted in Mbita, Western Kenya, to investigate how properties of the soil substrate of Anopheles gambiae breeding pools can influence development of this mosquito species. An. gambiae eggs from an established colony were dispensed into experimental plastic troughs containing soil samples from a range of natural Anopheles larval habitats and filtered Lake Victoria water. The duration of larval development (8–15 days), pupation rate (0–79 %), and adult body size (20.28–26.91 mm3) varied among different soil types. The total organic matter (3.61–21.25%), organic carbon (0.63–7.18%), and total nitrogen (0.06–0.58%) levels of the soils were positively correlated with pupation rate and negatively correlated with development time and adult body size.
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