Predation ability and non-consumptive effects of Notonecta sellata (Heteroptera: Notonectidae) on immature stages of Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae).
Distribution among pools of six mosquito species and 23 predatory insect taxa were studied in temporary rain pools during the summer and fall season in Buenos Aires city. Both mosquito immatures and predators were disproportionally more abundant in pools with high flooded surface, depth, and duration. Mosquito immatures differed in their habitat use with respect to predators. Among mosquitoes, Ochlerotatus albifasciatus showed a different pattern when compared to the remaining culicids. More culicid and predatory insect taxa colonized the pools in those flooding events of longer duration. Ochlerotatus albifasciatus was the only mosquito species recorded during short duration events and the first one in colonizing the pools in long duration events. This species shared the pools mainly with early arriving adult predators. Three Culex species were recorded later and showed higher coexistence with most of the predatory taxa, mainly immatures of the genera Tropisternus, Rhantus, Liodessus, and Belostoma. A high heterogeneity between pools and seasons was observed. Multiple regression analyses showed a negative relationship of per capita change of Culex species with large-sized predators only in those cases where predators were collected in high abundances during the summer. No negative relationship of predators was detected in relation to per capita change and abundance of Ochlerotatus albifasciatus. Differences in duration of about two to three weeks seemed to significantly affect the abundance of both culicid and predatory taxa, suggesting that the urban pools analyzed in this study are on the extreme of suitable conditions for these aquatic insects.