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Larval site characteristics of mosquito Aedes aegypti in Rabai, Kenya

Cite this dataset

Xia, Siyang et al. (2022). Larval site characteristics of mosquito Aedes aegypti in Rabai, Kenya [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset is described and analyzed in the paper: "Xia, S., Dweck, H. K. M., Lutomiah, J., Sang, R., McBride, C. S., Rose, N. H., Ayala, D., & Powell, J. R. (2021). Larval sites of the mosquito Aedes aegypti formosus in forest and domestic habitats in Africa and the potential association with oviposition evolution. Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1– 17."

The mosquito Ae. aegypti is a major vector of several arboviral diseases. In Africa, Ae. aegypti can be found in both ancestral forest habitats and human-made domestic habitats, such as villages. They also use different types of containers as larval sites: while the forest Ae. aegypti use tree holes and rock pools, the domestic populations rely mostly on artificial contains such as plastic buckets. As an initial attempt to better understand Ae. aegypti larval ecology and evolution in different habitats, we characterized the microenvironment of their larval sites in both habitats and compare them. We focus on two localities in Africa: La Lope in Gabon, and Rabai in Kenya. The current dataset contains data from Rabai and the La Lope data can be found in a different dataset (DOI:10.5061/dryad.7m0cfxprg). In this dataset, we characterized 31 Ae. aegypti larval site from four Rabai villages and 37 larval sites from the Rabai forest. Specifically, the first ten columns of the dataset provide basic information of each larval site, such as sampling location, date, and habitat, etc. The data also includes the measures of 16 physical variables of each larva site. These variables describe the size of the container, ambient environment such as temperature and humidity, and water pH and conductivity, etc. Lastly, the dataset has the number of Ae. aegypti and other mosquito species found in each larval site, as well as measures of microbial density. In addition, we also examined the chemical composition of volatiles from a subset of 42 larval sites. Using GC-MS, we identified chemical compounds in each larval site. Using these datasets, we found that forest and village larval sites have different microenvironments. The detailed analysis and discussion can be found in the paper. We hope this dataset could provide useful basic ecological information on Ae. aegypti larval habitat in Africa. We encourage future studies to explore this dataset and generate more hypotheses on Ae. aegypti ecology and evolution. 


This dataset was collected during fieldwork in Rabai, Kenya between April and May 2017. We collected basic information and measured 16 physical characteristics for 68 mosquito larval sites in both forest and village habitats. A potential mosquito larval site was defined as a water-holding container holding at least one mosquito larva. We also collected the headspace volatile samples from 42 larval sites and used GC-MS to identify the chemical composition of these samples.

Usage notes

In the first dataset ("Larval site data"), the first ten columns describe the basic information of each oviposition site (n=68). The 11th column indicates whether a site was used in the physical analysis. The 12th to the 27th column contains the 16 physical variables measured for each site. The 28th column indicates whether the site was used in the larval density analysis, and the next four columns contain the larval density measures. The 33rd and 34th columns are the information about microbial density in the oviposition sites. The 35th column is an indicator of which sites have bacterial community composition data. The last column indicates whether each site was included in headspace chemical analysis.

The second dataset ("Chemical composition") contains the chemical composition of the headspace volatile samples from 42 oviposition sites. The first column contains the unique code of each site that matches the first column in "Larval site data".

The metadata provides more explanation on how each variable was recorded or measured in both datasets. Missing values are indicated by "NA" in the dataset.


Institute for Biospheric Studies, Yale University

Center for Scientific Review, Award: RO1 AI101112