Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10264–10271 | Cite as

Boswellia ovalifoliolata (Burseraceae) essential oil as an eco-friendly larvicide? Toxicity against six mosquito vectors of public health importance, non-target mosquito fishes, backswimmers, and water bugs

  • Giovanni BenelliEmail author
  • Mohan Rajeswary
  • Periasamy Vijayan
  • Sengamalai Senthilmurugan
  • Naiyf S. Alharbi
  • Shine Kadaikunnan
  • Jamal M. Khaled
  • Marimuthu GovindarajanEmail author
Plant-borne compounds and nanoparticles: challenges for medicine, parasitology and entomology


The use of synthetic pesticides to control vector populations is detrimental to human health and the environment and may lead to the development of resistant strains. Plants can be alternative sources of safer compounds effective on mosquito vectors. In this study, the mosquito larvicidal activity of Boswellia ovalifoliolata leaf essential oil (EO) was evaluated against Anopheles stephensi, Anopheles subpictus, Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tritaeniorhynchus. GC-MS revealed that the B. ovalifoliolata EO contained at least 20 compounds. The main constituents were β-pinene, α-terpineol, and caryophyllene. In acute toxicity assays, the EO was toxic to larvae of An. stephensi, Ae. aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus, An. subpictus, Ae. albopictus, and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus with LC50 values of 61.84, 66.24, 72.47, 82.26, 89.80, and 97.95 μg/ml, respectively. B. ovalifoliolata EO was scarcely toxic to mosquito fishes, backswimmers, and water bugs predating mosquito larvae with LC50 from 4186 to 14,783 μg/ml. Overall, these results contribute to develop effective and affordable instruments to magnify the reliability of Culicidae control programs.


Dengue fever Filariasis Malaria Japanese encephalitis Yellow fever Zika virus 



The authors extend their sincere appreciations to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this Prolific Research Group (PRG-1437-36). Also thanks to the Professor and Head, Department of Zoology, Annamalai University for the laboratory facilities provided.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Benelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohan Rajeswary
    • 2
  • Periasamy Vijayan
    • 2
  • Sengamalai Senthilmurugan
    • 2
  • Naiyf S. Alharbi
    • 3
  • Shine Kadaikunnan
    • 3
  • Jamal M. Khaled
    • 3
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Vector Control, Phytochemistry and Nanotechnology, Department of ZoologyAnnamalai UniversityAnnamalainagarIndia
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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