Differential vulnerability among mosquito species to predation by the cyclopoid copepod, acanthocyclops viridis

Leon Blaustein, Joel Margalit

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Cyclopoid copepods and their prey provide a convenient system for studying various aspects of predation. Cyclopoid copepods also show promise as biological control agents of mosquitoes, although success varies greatly among copepod species and among mosquito species as prey. We measured predation rates by the cyclopoid copepod Acanthocyclops viridis on newly-hatched larvae of four mosquito species in the laboratory. We tested the hypothesis that predation rates vary among mosquito species. Vulnerability to predation varied considerably among species, but was not a function of mosquito size. In a comparison of three mosquito species comprising three genera, Aedes aegypti was most vulnerable to predation followed by the considerably larger Culiseta longiareolata. Culexpipiens, the smallest of the three, was the least vulnerable. Toxorhynchites amboinensis, examined by a different experimental design, was also preyed upon by this copepod. A. viridis should be assessed further for its role as a natural predator and as a potential biological control agent of mosquito larvae in temporary habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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