3 years ago

Behavioral responses of gravid Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes to aquatic macrophyte volatiles

Rakim K. Turnipseed, Patrick J. Moran, Sandra A. Allan

ABSTRACT

Mosquitoes use many cues to assess whether a habitat is conducive for reproduction, possibly including the presence of stimuli from aquatic macrophytes. The effect of water infusions of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pista stratioles), parrotfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), and water pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata) on mosquito oviposition and attraction was investigated. Gravid Culex quinquefasciatus deposited significantly more egg rafts in water hyacinth, water lettuce, or Bermuda hay (positive control) infusions compared to water, while water pennywort and parrotfeather infusions did not differ from water. In‐flight attraction responses of Cx. quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus were evaluated. The strongest attraction of gravid Cx. quinquefasciatus and Ae. aegypti occurred in the presence of volatiles from infusions of water hyacinth and water lettuce, which were equal in attractiveness to hay infusion. Water pennywort and parrotfeather infusions were not attractive. Gravid An. quadrimaculatus were not attracted to aquatic plant volatiles. The results suggest that water hyacinth and water lettuce emit volatile chemicals that attract two of three mosquito species tested and stimulate oviposition by Cx. quinquefasciatus, demonstrating that the level of attraction of aquatic plant volatiles varies among species in ways that may have relevance to bait‐based detection and control methods.

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