Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 965-976

First online:

Laboratory and Field Responses of the Mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, to Plant-Derived Culex spp. Oviposition Pheromone and the Oviposition Cue Skatole

  • Timothy O. OlagbemiroAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Abubakar Tafewa Balewa University
  • , Michael A. BirkettAffiliated withBiological Chemistry Division, Rothamsted Research
  • , A. Jennifer Mordue (Luntz)Affiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Aberdeen
  • , John A. PickettAffiliated withBiological Chemistry Division, Rothamsted Research Email author 

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Laboratory and field studies were conducted on the oviposition behavior of the pathogen-vectoring mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, in response to the oviposition pheromone 6-acetoxy-5-hexadecanolide, produced from a renewable plant resource, Kochia scoparia (Chenopodiaceae) (plant-derived pheromone, PDP), and via an established synthetic route (synthetic oviposition pheromone, SOP). Responses to the oviposition cue skatole (3-methylindole), presented individually and in combination with the plant-derived and synthetic oviposition pheromone, were also studied. Both laboratory and field assays showed that PDP and SOP were equally attractive. Synergistic effects were observed with one combination of PDP and skatole combinations in laboratory assays. Synergy was also observed under field conditions. SOP and skatole combinations showed additive effects in laboratory assays, but were not tested in field bioassays. Although synergism has been previously demonstrated with combinations of SOP and polluted waters, the work presented here is the first example of synergy between a specific oviposition attractant and the oviposition pheromone. Furthermore, the efficacy of mosquito pheromone produced from a cheap, renewable botanical source has been demonstrated.

Culex quinquefasciatus oviposition pheromone 6-acetoxy-5-hexadecanolide Kochia scoparia renewable resource skatole synergism