OBSERVATIONS ON THE PREDATION OF MOSQUITO IN PRESENCE OF CHIRONOMID PREY BY TOXORHYNCHITES SPLENDENS WIEDEMANN, 1898 (DIPTERA: CULICIDAE): IMPLICATIONS IN BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF MOSQUITOSoujita Pramanik, Sampa Banerjee, Goutam K. Saha and Gautam Aditya
The prey preference of Toxorhynchites splendens was evaluated using the larval stages of the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti and chironomid larvae to substantiate the predatory efficacy and thus use in the biological control of mosquitoes. The field collected larval stages of T. splendens were allowed to consume the mosquito larvae alone or in combination with chironomid larvae in equal proportions. The larval stages of T. splendens consumed mosquito significantly more than the chironomid larvae, irrespective of combinations. In paired combinations, the preference of the mosquito remained significantly higher in terms of the Manlys selectivity index. Although, overall consumption of the prey is reduced due to the presence of chironomid, the results suggest that mosquito larvae may be preferred over chironomid larvae in situations where both the prey are available. However, the overall consumption of the mosquito prey may be reduced by the presence of the chironomid larvae. In extension to the earlier observations, the results are encouraging, favouring the use of T. splendens in vector management in Kolkata, India and similar regions, where mosquito borne diseases is a major public health concern.
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