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Insect Sci. 2018 Feb 14. doi: 10.1111/1744-7917.12578. [Epub ahead of print]

An unsettling explanation for the failure of skatole-baited ovitraps to capture Culex mosquitoes.

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Departamento de Entomologia, Instituto Aggeu Magalhães, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Av. Professor Moraes Rego, Recife, PE, Brazil.
Centro Acadêmico do Agreste, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Caruaru, PE, Brazil.
Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Departamento de Epidemiologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, USA.


Culex mosquitoes are primarily found in temperate and tropical regions worldwide where they play a crucial role as main vectors of filarial worms and arboviruses. In Recife, a northeast city in Brazil, high densities of Culex quinquefasciatus are often found in association with human populated areas. In marked contrast to another part of the city, field tests conducted in the neighborhood of Sítio dos Pintos showed that trapping of mosquitoes in skatole-baited ovitraps did not differ significantly from captures in control (water) traps. Thus, classical and molecular taxonomic approaches were used to analyze the Culex species circulating in Sítio dos Pintos. Results obtained from both approaches agreed on the cocirculation of Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex nigripalpus in three different areas of this neighborhood. What was initially considered as an unexpected failure of this lure turned out to be a more unsettling problem, that is, the first report in Recife of Culex nigripalpus, a vector of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus. Unplanned urbanization processes close to remnants of the Atlantic forest, such as observed in Sítio dos Pintos, may have contributed to the introduction of Cx. nigripalpus in urban areas.


Culex nigripalpus; Culex quinquefasciatus; West Nile virus; Zika ; dengue; oviposition attractant; skatole


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