This study details the novel application of predacious copepods, genus Mesocyclops, for control of Ochlerotatus tremulus (Theobald) group and Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquito larvae in subterranean habitats in north Queensland, Australia. During June 1997, 50 Mesocyclops sp. 1 were inoculated into one service manhole in South Townsville. Wet season rainfall and flooding in both 1998 and 2000 was responsible for the dispersal of copepods via the underground pipe system to 29 of 35 manholes over an area of 1.33 km2. Significant reductions in Aedes and Ochlerotatus larvae ensued. In these habitats, Mesocyclops and Metacyclops were able to survive dry periods, when substrate moisture content ranged from 13.8 to 79.9%. At the semiarid inland towns of Hughenden and Richmond, cracking clay soil prevents drainage of water from shallow service pits where Oc. tremulus immatures numbered from 292-18,460 per pit. Introduction of Mesocyclops copepods into these sites during May 1999 resulted in 100% control of Oc. tremulus for 18 mo. One uninoculated pit subsequently became positive for Mesocyclops with resultant control of mosquito larvae.
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