Investigaciones recientes sobre Toxorhynchites rutilus (Diptera: Culicidae) con referencia al control biológico de mosquitos habitantes en recipientes


  • Phil Lounibos Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida


This review describes research on Toxorhynchites rutilus, a predator used for mosquito control. A long-term investigation in Florida (USA) demonstrated a reduction in treehole mosquitoes attributable to predation by this species. Local extinctions of the potential vector Aedes triseriatus were not associated with the presence of T. rutilus in treeholes. A decline in prey consumption during diapause may partially explain the reduced winter impact of T. rutilus in the long-term data. Survivorship of T. rutilus in treeholes and discarded tires indicates that the mortality rate is highest in the first instar and that the relative proportion of deaths is also high in the fourth stage, owing to cannibalism. In dissected T. rutilus collected from the field, a broad diversity of prey types was observed, and mosquitoes were not the most common prey. Terrestrial arthropods, apparently captured from the water surface, were common in the diet, especially of third and fourth instars. Juliano and Gravel (in press) demonstrated that A. triseriatus exposed to T. rutilus experience rapid selection for anti-predator behavior(s). This selective pressure is weak in nature, resulting in a heterogeneous distribution of anti-predator behaviors in distinct geographic populations. In experiments conducted in bamboo sections, the invasive species Aedes albopictus escaped predation by T. rutilus better than A. triseriatus. We discuss the significance of these results for the biological control of mosquitoes by T. rutilus.


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