Effects of predator type and alternative prey on mosquito egg raft predation and destruction

Shomen Mukherjee, Leon Blaustein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a vector species, understanding their egg raft predation (consumption) or destruction is essential for both ecological and human health reasons since it directly influences its fitness. In a mesocosm experiment, we assessed differences in Culiseta longiareolata egg raft predation/destruction by three aquatic predators Notonecta maculata (backswimmers), Sympetrum fonscolombii (dragonflies) and Ommatotriton vittatus (newts), both in the presence and absence of an alternate prey (Culex larve). Egg raft predation and destruction significantly differed between predators types, and strongly influenced by the presence of alternate prey. Backswimmers attacked and destroyed (broke down) all egg rafts until they disintegrated and sank in water regardless of whether an alternative prey was present. Egg raft predation by dragonflies was common in the absence of alternative prey, but rare when alternative prey was present. Predation by newts was rare regardless of whether there was an alternative prey. The number of alternate prey consumed also significantly differed between predators (P < 0.001) with backswimmers being the most effective predator. Relatively few studies have tested for egg raft predation/destruction. Hence it is crucial that we conduct similar trials in other landscapes since such predators can prove to be key agents for the biological control of mosquitoes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Biological control
  • Notonecta maculata
  • Ommatotriton vittatus
  • Oviposition
  • Prey choice
  • Sympetrum fonscolombii
  • Vector management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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