Copepods and mosquito control

Posted on May 26, 2009

Gambusia (mosquitofish) are commonly used for mosquito control, but are difficult to stock in small water bodies and can have disastrous negative impacts on native freshwater fauna.  In a search for other natural control agents, an Indian study has shown that copepod crustaceans (Mesocycops  aspericornis ) are efficient predators on mosquito larvae (Anopheles stephensi).  Because these copepods often occur at high density in shallow, stagnant water bodies and have the ability to enter a dormant stage to help them survive regular periods of drying, they are promising candidates for the control of mosquito populations.

Reference:  R. Kumar, P. Muhid, H.-U. Dahms, L.-C. Tseng and J.-S. Hwang. 2008.  Potential of three aquatic predators to control mosquitoes in the presence of alternative prey: a comparative experimental assessment.  Marine and Freshwater Research 59,  817-835.