Original Paper

Parasitology Research

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 281-286

First online:

Mediation of oviposition responses in the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi Liston by certain fatty acid esters

  • Kavita R. SharmaAffiliated withDefence Research & Development Establishment
  • , T. SeenivasaganAffiliated withDefence Research & Development Establishment Email author 
  • , A. N. RaoAffiliated withDefence Research & Development Establishment
  • , K. GanesanAffiliated withDefence Research & Development Establishment
  • , O. P. AgrawalAffiliated withSchool of Studies in Zoology, Jiwaji University
  • , Shri PrakashAffiliated withDefence Research & Development Establishment

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The chemical factors involved in oviposition site selection by mosquitoes have become the focus of interest in recent years, and considerable attention is paid to the chemical cues influencing mosquito oviposition. Studies on synthetic oviposition attractants/repellents of long-chain fatty acid esters against Anopheles stephensi are limited. Screening and identification of chemicals which potentially attract/repel the gravid females to/or from oviposition site could be exploited for eco-friendly mosquito management strategies. The ester compounds demonstrated their ability to repel and attract the gravid A. stephensi females in the treated substrates. Significant level of concentration-dependent negative oviposition response of mosquitoes to octadecyl propanoate, heptadecyl butanoate, hexadecyl pentanoate, and tetradecyl heptanoate were observed. In contrast, decyl undecanoate, nonyl dodecanoate, pentyl hexadecanoate, and propyl octadecanoate elicited concentration-dependent positive oviposition responses from the gravid mosquitoes. Forcing a female to retain her eggs due to unavailability of a suitable oviposition site and attracting them to lay the eggs in a baited ovitraps shall ensure effective control of mosquito breeding and population buildup because the oviposition bioassay target the most susceptible stage of an insect life cycle. Treating relatively smaller natural breeding sites with an effective repellent and placing ovitraps containing an attractant in combination with insect-growth regulator (IGR)/insecticide would be a promising method of mosquito management.