Mosquito female response to the presence of larvivorous fish does not match threat to larvae

Alon Silberbush, William J. Resetarits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Several species with complex life-history traits such as amphibians and insects with aquatic immature stages and terrestrial adults avoid ovipositing in pools containing larvivorous fish. This avoidance response was assumed to be a general one for most fish species. 2. The generality of ovipositing Culex to the presence of three, widespread larvivorous fish species was tested in a set of field experiments with artificial oviposition pools using caged fish. 3. Larval performance was further examined under actual predation by these three fish species. 4. Results show that ovipositing females responded strongly to the presence of caged mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, while showing no significant response to the presence of caged green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus, or the pirate perch, Aphredoderus sayanus. All three fish species consumed similar amounts of larvae. 5. This is the first example of species-specific response differences to predators during mosquito oviposition habitat selection. These results point to the existence of predator-released kairomones affecting mosquito behaviour. These kairomones may either be species-specific or vary in concentration among fish, and probably have an important role in the understanding of mosquito spatial distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-600
Number of pages6
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Royal Entomological Society


  • Culex mosquitoes
  • fish-released kairomones
  • habitat selection
  • larvivorous fish
  • oviposition
  • preference/performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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