Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 537–548 | Cite as

Differential Sensitivity of Mosquito Taxa to Vegetable Tannins

  • Delphine Rey
  • Andre Cuany
  • Marie-Paule Pautou
  • Jean-Claude Meyran


The sensitivity of larval Culicidae to vegetable tannins was investigated in different taxa representative of the fauna from alpine hydrosystems (Aedes rusticus, Culex pipiens) and foreign noxious fauna (Aedes aegypti, A. albopictus). Bioassays reveal that tannic acid at concentrations of 0.1–6 mM is significantly more toxic for C. pipiens than for Aedes taxa, and A. aegypti is more sensitive than A. albopictus and A. rusticus. Comparison of the rank order of sensitivity among taxa with the associated levels of cytochrome P-450, esterase, and glutathione-S-transferase activities suggests that cytochrome P-450 and esterases may be involved in the detoxification of tannins. A possible involvement of these detoxifying enzymes is also revealed in vivo by the synergistic effects of S,S,S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate (esterase inhibitor) and piperonyl butoxide (P-450 inhibitor). The differential sensitivity to tannins among taxa is discussed in terms of ecological implications within mosquito communities from alpine hydrosystems, where the acquisition of tannins–detoxifying enzymatic systems may be considered as a key innovation.

Tannic acid larvicidal activity Aedes rusticus Aedes albopictus Aedes aegypti Culex pipiens bioassays enzyme assays cytochrome P-450 glutathione-S-transferases esterases 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphine Rey
    • 1
  • Andre Cuany
    • 2
  • Marie-Paule Pautou
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Meyran
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Hydrosystèmes Alpins, Centre de Biologie AlpineUniversité Joseph FourierGrenoble Cedex 9France
  2. 2.INRA, URRX, LBIAntibes CedexFrance

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