Effect of human odours and positioning of CO2 release point on trap catches of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto in an olfactometer

J. Spitzen, R.C. Smallegange, W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The anthropophilic malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto responds to CO2 and human skin emanations. How these odorants affect the behaviour of this mosquito species is studied in an olfactometer. Carbon dioxide is released either as an homogeneous plume or in a turbulent fashion at two different positions from the trap entrance. Anopheles gambiae is deterred from entering a trap with CO2 as the only kairomone, when presented as an homogeneous or turbulent plume. This effect is completely overcome by the addition of skin emanations to the CO2 plume, with a high proportion of mosquitoes found in the trap with skin emanations. Rearrangement of the position of the turbulent CO2 source so that it is 5 cm downwind of the trap entrance overcomes the deterrent effect of CO2. Carbon dioxide alone, however, does not elicit higher proportions caught compared with clean air. Further studies with the CO2 source positioned 5 cm downwind of the trap entrance show that skin emanations alone result in fewer mosquitoes entering the trap than CO2+ skin emanations. Skin emanations induce more mosquitoes to fly into a trap than a synthetic blend of NH3+ l-lactic acid when both are combined with CO2. It is concluded that CO2 is a poor kairomone when offered alone and that its presence in the plume at the trap entrance deters mosquitoes from entering. By contrast, when positioned just downwind of the trap entrance, CO2 appears to guide mosquitoes to the vicinity of the trap, where skin emanations then become the principle attractant, causing the mosquito trap entry response. The results of the study have implications for the design of odour-baited traps for this mosquito species
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • carbon-dioxide
  • host-seeking
  • culicidae
  • behavior
  • diptera
  • attractiveness
  • responses
  • orientation
  • tanzania

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