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Parasitol Res. 2009 Mar;104(4):827-33. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-1263-2. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

Electroantennogram, flight orientation, and oviposition responses of Aedes aegypti to the oviposition pheromone n-heneicosane.

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Defence Research & Development Establishment, Jhansi Road, Gwalior 474 002 MP, India.


Oviposition pheromones specifically influence the females of many insects to lay eggs in the sites resulting in more egg deposition. A previous report describes the principal role of n-heneicosane (C(21)) identified and characterized from the larval cuticle of Aedes aegypti (L.) in attracting the gravid mosquitoes to oviposit in treated substrates among other chemical components. However, the means by which this compound is perceived by the females for oviposition has not been reported. In this study, we have recorded the peripheral olfactory responses from the antenna of Ae. aegypti from 10(-7) g to 10(-3) g doses of n-heneicosane. The EAG response of female mosquitoes increased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing stimulus strength. In the orientation assay using Y-maze olfactometer, female mosquitoes were attracted to the odor plume of 10(-6) g and 10(-5) g dose, while the higher dose of 10(-3) g plume enforced repellency to gravid mosquitoes. The response to oviposition substrates by gravid Ae. aegypti females differed across the range of concentrations of n-heneicosane under multiple choice conditions, larger number of eggs were deposited in 10 ppm (10 mg/l) solutions compared to lower and higher concentrations indicating 10 ppm was most attractive. Application of n-heneicosane at 10 ppm in breeding habitats will be a useful method to attract the gravid mosquitoes using ovitraps for surveillance and monitoring. The possible use of this compound in monitoring of mosquito population in endemic areas in relevance to integrated vector management strategies is discussed in detail.

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