The impact of alternative prey and simulated vegetation on Culex annulirostris Skuse predation efficacy by Australian smelt, Retropinna semoni (Retropinnidae); crimson-spotted rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi (Melanotaeniidae); empire gudgeon, Hypseleotris compressa (Eleotridae); estuary perchlet, Ambassis marianus (Ambassidae); firetail gudgeon, Hypseleotris galii (Eleotridae); fly-specked hardyhead, Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum (Atherinidae); and Pacific blue-eye, Pseudomugil signifer (Atherinidae), was evaluated in Queensland, Australia. The presence of chironomid midge larvae and tusked frog, Adelotus brevis (Leptodactylidae), tadpoles did not have a significant negative impact on the predation rates of Cx. annulirostris by these 7 fish species. Hypseleotris galii, M. duboulayi, and R. semoni demonstrated strong preference for larvae of Cx. annulirostris over both alternative prey species. In the presence of alternative prey species, the mean predation rate of M. duboulayi on larvae of Cx. annulirostris remained greater than that of other fish species tested. When evaluated at varying densities of simulated vegetation, predation rates of all fish species were similar to those reported in open conditions.
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Vol. 22 • No. 3