Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2006 Dec 27;1:e132.

A predator from East Africa that chooses malaria vectors as preferred prey.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. ximena@galliform.bhs.mq.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

All vectors of human malaria, a disease responsible for more than one million deaths per year, are female mosquitoes from the genus Anopheles. Evarcha culicivora is an East African jumping spider (Salticidae) that feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by selecting blood-carrying female mosquitoes as preferred prey.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

By testing with motionless lures made from mounting dead insects in lifelike posture on cork discs, we show that E. culicivora selects Anopheles mosquitoes in preference to other mosquitoes and that this predator can identify Anopheles by static appearance alone. Tests using active (grooming) virtual mosquitoes rendered in 3-D animation show that Anopheles' characteristic resting posture is an important prey-choice cue for E. culicivora. Expression of the spider's preference for Anopheles varies with the spider's size, varies with its prior feeding condition and is independent of the spider gaining a blood meal.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

This is the first experimental study to show that a predator of any type actively chooses Anopheles as preferred prey, suggesting that specialized predators having a role in the biological control of disease vectors is a realistic possibility.

PMID:
17205136
PMCID:
PMC1762417
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0000132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center