Funnel traps are often used to sample for the presence of Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae in subterranean aquatic habitats. These traps are generally ≥15 cm in diameter, making them impractical for use in subterranean sites that have narrow (10-cm) access ports, such as those in standard-sized septic tanks. Recent research indicates septic tanks may be important habitats for Ae. aegypti in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. To sample mosquito larval populations in these sites, a miniaturized funnel trap was necessary. This project describes the use of a smaller funnel trap for sampling larval populations. The effects of larval instar (third and fourth) and population density on trap efficacy also are examined. The trap detected larval presence 83% of the time at a larval density of 0.011 larvae per cm2 and 100% of the time at densities ≥0.022 larvae per cm2. There was a significant trend of increasing percentage of recaptured larvae with higher larval population densities. Although the miniaturized funnel trap is less sensitive at detecting larval presence in low population densities, it may be useful for sampling aquatic environments with restricted access or shallow water, particularly in domestic septic tanks.
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Vol. 47 • No. 6