Copepods from the genus Mesocyclops are considered predators and potential biological control for mosquito larvae. Two copepod species M. meridianus and M. longisetus were found in natural developmental habitat for malaria vector Anopheles aquasalis in Paria, Venezuela. Predatory potential on 1st-stage mosquito larvae An. aquasalis was evaluated under laboratory conditions for the 2 species of copepod. Further records of both copepod life cycle and body size were taken. A 2 × 3 factorial design was used, consisting of 1:1 and 10:1 prey–predator ratios with and without interspecific interactions. Despite significant body-size differences, M. longisetus and M. meridianus reached maturity 17 days after hatching with no significant differences. Life cycle span of both copepod species are described for the first time. The 2 species showed the same predatory potential despite larval (prey) abundance variation.
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Vol. 23 • No. 2