The efficacy of the larvivorous fish Poecilia reticulata against mosquito larvae was monitored in a drain at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Hardwar, India. The water was polluted and the water flow was in some way impeded. Poecilia reticulata failed to feed on Culex quinquefasciatus larvae in this drain. Laboratory experiments also confirmed the inefficacy of P. reticulata as a predator of Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae during the first 24 h. Significant differences in the efficacy of P. reticulata against Cx. quinquefasciatus were recorded between polluted water and drinking water. Poecilia reticulata preferred to feed on other available food present in the polluted water rather than on Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae. This was verified by the identification of plankton in the gut content of the fish and by the high density of plankton present in the polluted water.
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Vol. 23 • No. 4