Anopheles aquasalis is the main malaria vector in Sucre State, Venezuela. The larvae of this species are saltwater tolerant. The effects of different concentrations of salt on oviposition preference and egg survival were studied under laboratory conditions. Choice experiments with salt concentrations of 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% in bottled water were set up for individual adult females and the number of eggs laid in each salt concentration was noted. Egg survival, as inferred by the number of hatched larvae also was determined for each salt concentration. Females preferred to oviposit in freshwater and rejected water salt concentrations of 40%, but they were neither attracted nor repelled by water with 10–30% of salt. Eggs hatched more quickly in the lower salt concentrations, but egg survival was not affected by salt concentrations of up to 20%. Thus, female oviposition preference in An. aquasalis determines egg survival.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1