Traps that selectively collect gravid mosquitoes have advantages over other collection methods for the purpose of disease surveillance: they trap mosquitoes with a higher probability of carrying disease as they have blood fed on at least one occasion. Gravid traps typically use infusions of organic material to attract gravid mosquitoes, particularly Culex quinquefasciatus (Say). These infusions are heavy and have an unpleasant odor, presenting logistical difficulties for disease monitoring programs. Typically, gravid traps use 4 liters of infusion. The present trial compared the responses of gravid female mosquitoes to 2 and 4 liters of infusion to see if equivalent numbers of mosquitoes could be collected using the smaller volume. In an attempt to better understand the effects of volume of infusion on mosquito oviposition behavior, egg laying on the two volumes was also monitored. There was a significant difference between the mean numbers of egg rafts laid on 2 and 4 liters of infusion. However, the mean numbers of gravid Cu. quinquefasciatus collected in gravid traps with 2 and 4 liters were not significantly different. The results indicate that 2 liters can be used instead of 4 liters for gravid trapping, significantly reducing the cost and logistical difficulties associated with such efforts. The behavioral responses of gravid females to different volumes are also discussed.
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Vol. 49 • No. 5