New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2005) 29(2): 185- 191

Mosquitoes breeding in phytotelmata in native forests in the Wellington region, New Zealand

Research Article
José G. B. Derraik  
  1. Ecology & Health Research Centre, Department of Public Health, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, P.O. Box 7343, Wellington, New Zealand

This study assessed the level of utilization by mosquitoes of the available phytotelm habitats in indigenous forests in the Wellington region (New Zealand). The native epiphyte Collospermum hastatum was found to be the most abundant source of larval mosquito habitats in local native forests, but no mosquito larvae were recorded in the plants’ leaf axils. Apart from these epiphytes, the local forests were found to have few natural breeding containers, and the only other relevant type of phytotelm habitat for mosquitoes was tree holes. The single mosquito species recorded was the exotic Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, whose larvae occurred in 23% (9/39) of the water-bearing tree holes in the region. The results provided some evidence that larval mosquito habitats in the region are underutilized.