The effect of predatory fish exudates on the ovipostional behaviour of three mosquito species: Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti and Culex tarsalis

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Abstract

Three mosquito species, Culex tarsalis Coquillett, Culex quinquefasciatus Say and Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae), were examined in laboratory binary choice experiments to investigate whether fish exudates from the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard) (Cyprinodontiformes: Poecilliidae), deter oviposition and whether the responses of these mosquito species to fish exudates in oviposition sites are consistent with the risk of predation from fish experienced by each species in their respective natural breeding habitats. Culex tarsalis was deterred significantly from egg laying by the presence of fish exudates in oviposition cups, consistent with high levels of predation by fish in natural breeding sites. Egg laying by Cx quinquefasciatus was slightly reduced in water with fish exudates, but was not consistently deterred by water conditioned by mosquitofish, consistent with the species' relatively low risk of fish predation in natural habitats. Oviposition by container-breeding Ae. aegypti was not deterred by the presence of fish exudates in oviposition cups, consistent with a low risk of predation by fish in natural habitats.

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