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Trop Biomed. 2009 Dec;26(3):223-61.

Aquatic insect predators and mosquito control.

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Zoology Department, Aswan Faculty of Science, South Valley University, Aswan 81528, Egypt.


Mosquitoes are serious biting pests and obligate vectors of many vertebrate pathogens. Their immature larval and pupal life stages are a common feature in most tropical and many temperate water bodies and often form a significant proportion of the biomass. Control strategies rely primarily on the use of larvicides and environmental modification to reduce recruitment and adulticides during periods of disease transmission. Larvicides are usually chemical but can involve biological toxins, agents or organisms. The use of insect predators in mosquito control has been exploited in a limited fashion and there is much room for further investigation and implementation. Insects that are recognized as having predatorial capacity with regard to mosquito prey have been identified in the Orders Odonata, Coleoptera, Diptera (primarily aquatic predators), and Hemiptera (primarily surface predators). Although their capacity is affected by certain biological and physical factors, they could play a major role in mosquito control. Furthermore, better understanding for the mosquitoes-predators relationship(s) could probably lead to satisfactory reduction of mosquito-borne diseases by utilizing either these predators in control programs, for instance biological and/or integrated control, or their kairomones as mosquitoes' ovipoisting repellents. This review covers the predation of different insect species on mosquito larvae, predator-prey-habitat relationships, co-habitation developmental issues, survival and abundance, oviposition avoidance, predatorial capacity and integrated vector control.

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