Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 369–378 | Cite as

The essential oil from Zanthoxylum monophyllum a potential mosquito larvicide with low toxicity to the non-target fish Gambusia affinis

  • Roman Pavela
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
Original Paper


The mosquito larvicidal activity of Zanthoxylum monophyllum leaf essential oil (EO) and its major chemical constituents was tested against the three mosquito vectors Anopheles subpictus, Aedes albopictus and Culex tritaeniorhynchus. In the EO of Z. monophyllum, it contains 36 compounds with the two major compounds being Germacrene D-4-ol (19.40 %) and α-Cadinol (12.30). The larvicidal activity of the essential oil against An. subpictus, Ae. albopictus and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus was determined and LC50 values were estimated at 41.50, 45.35 and 49.01 µg/mL, respectively. The two major compounds Germacrene D-4-ol and α-Cadinol were tested for acute toxicity against larvae of the three mosquito vectors. Germacrene D-4-ol showed a significantly higher efficacy compared to α-Cadinol. While LC50 for Germacrene D-4-ol ranged from 6.12 to 7.26 µg/mL, LC50 values for α-Cadinol were estimated in the range from 10.27 to 12.28 µg/mL. The EO, Germacrene D-4-ol and α-Cadinol were found safer to the non-target organism Gambusia affinis (LC50 = 4234.07, 414.05 and 635.12 µg/mL, respectively), which was manifested in the high suitability of the index/predator safety factor value, ranging from 86.36 for the least sensitive larvae of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus to 102.02 for the most sensitive larvae of An. subpictus.


Eco-friendly larvicides Mosquito vectors Plant-borne mosquitocides Botanical insecticides 



The authors would like to thank Dr. R. Karuppasamy, Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology at Annamalai University for the laboratory facilities provided. We also acknowledge the cooperation of the staff members from the VCRC (ICMR), Pondicherry. Dr. Pavela, as co-author, would like to thank the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic for its financial support concerning botanical pesticide research (Project No. MZE RO0415).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards and practices of the institution at which the studies were conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Research InstitutePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Unit of Vector Control, Phytochemistry and Nanotechnology, Department of ZoologyAnnamalai UniversityChidambaramIndia

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