We conducted an entomological survey to determine the mosquito species diversity and abundance in relation to land use in the Mwea rice scheme, Kenya. Adult mosquitoes were collected by indoor spraying of houses and outdoors by CDC light traps in three villages representing planned (Mbuinjeru) and unplanned (Kiamachiri) rice agroecosystems and a non-irrigated agroecosystem (Murinduko). During the 12-month sampling period, a total of 98,708 mosquitoes belonging to five genera and 25 species were collected. The five most common species collected during this study were Anopheles arabiensis Patton (52.5%), Culex quinquefasciatus Say (36.7%), Anopheles pharoensis Theobald (5.2%), Anopheles coustani Laveran (1.4%), and Anopheles funestus Giles (1.3%). Anopheles arabiensis, Cx quinquefasciatus, and An. pharoensis were more abundant in rice agroecosystems than in the non-irrigated agroecosystem, and in planned than in the unplanned rice agroecosystems. In contrast, An. funestus was more abundant in the non-irrigated agroecosystem. The mosquito species diversity (H) and evenness (EH) in the non-irrigated agroecosystem (Shannon diversity Index, H = 1.507, EH = 0.503) was significantly higher than in the rice agroecosystems (H = 0.968, EH = 0.313, unplanned; and H = 1.040, EH = 0.367 planned). Results of lag cross correlation analysis revealed a strong relationship between rainfall and the abundance of An. arabiensis, and C. quinquefasciatus in the non-irrigated agroecosystem but not in the rice agroecosystems. It is inferred from the data that different levels of habitat perturbations with regard to rice cultivation have different effects on mosquito diversity and abundance. This provides an understanding of how mosquito diversity is impacted by different habitat management and rice cropping strategies.
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