Parasitology Research

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 425–430 | Cite as

Chemical composition, larvicidal evaluation, and adult repellency of endemic Greek Thymus essential oils against the mosquito vector of West Nile virus

  • Danae Pitarokili
  • Antonios Michaelakis
  • George Koliopoulos
  • Athanassios Giatropoulos
  • Olga Tzakou
Original Paper


The volatile metabolites of Greek wild growing Thymus leucospermus and Thymus teucrioides subsp. candilicus were determined by gas chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The monoterpene hydrocarbon p-cymene (64.2%) dominated T. leucospermus oil, followed by γ-terpinene (7.9%), thymol (4.8%), and borneol (4.7%), whereas the most abundant constituents in T. teucrioides subsp. candilicus oil were p-cymene (25.5%), γ-terpinene (19.0%), thymol (18.8%), borneol (5.7%), and α-pinene (5.7%). The larvicidal and repellent activities of the analyzed essential oils were tested on Culex pipiens larvae and adults, respectively. Additionally, the main metabolite of the essential oils, p-cymene was tested against C. pipiens adults in order to define the affiliation between p-cymene and the repellent properties of the oil. The essential oils of T. leucospermus and T. teucrioides subsp. candilicus provided repellency 78.1% and 72.9%, respectively, statistically equal to the reference product icaridin. The compound p-cymene showed almost no repellent activity. The essential oil of T. leucospermus presented lower larvicidal activity (LC50 = 34.26 mgl−1) against C. pipiens third–fourth instar larvae while T. teucrioides subsp. candilicus was the most active with an estimated LC50 value of 23.17 mgl−1.



We would like to thank Ass. Professor Theophanis Constaninidis (Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Athens) for the collection and identification of the plant material.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danae Pitarokili
    • 1
  • Antonios Michaelakis
    • 2
  • George Koliopoulos
    • 3
  • Athanassios Giatropoulos
    • 3
  • Olga Tzakou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, School of PharmacyUniversity of Athens, Panepistimioupoli ZographouAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Laboratory of Agricultural EntomologyBenaki Phytopathological InstituteKifissia, AthensGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Insecticides of Public Health ImportanceBenaki Phytopathological InstituteKifissia, AthensGreece

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