The field of mosquito research is revisiting mosquito ecology. Excellent work on mosquito ecology was conducted in the early 1900s, but research was obscured by the success of pesticides. Because of pesticide resistance, the benefits of understanding natural histories of mosquito species is gaining favor for population control. Standardized methodologies would allow for reliable comparisons across studies. For instance, a research write-up may state that mosquito larvae were collected from an area with an open canopy. However, “open canopy” is rarely defined.
This photo shows a mosquito breeding habitat in a South Carolina zoological park. While collecting mosquito larvae, the canopy above was photographed for later analysis of canopy coverage with graphic arts software. This is a method for standardized quantification of canopy coverage that can be used by mosquito researchers and control technicians. Aesthetically, the loss of normal perspective allows the viewer to contemplate tree trunks as pipes (which deliver water and vital nutrients to the canopy forming leaves) rather than foundational structures.