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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Martyn Lucas

Louca, V., Lucas, M.C., Green, C., Majambere, S., Fillinger, U. & Lindsay, S.W. (2009). Role of fish as predators of mosquito larvae on the floodplain of the Gambia River. Journal of Medical Entomology 46(3): 546-556.

Author(s) from Durham


We examined the potential of using native fish species in regulating mosquitoes in the floodplain of the Gambia River, the major source of mosquitoes in rural parts of The Gambia. Fishes and mosquito larvae were sampled along two 2.3-km-long transects, from the landward edge of the floodplain to the river from May to November 2005 to 2007. A semifield trial was used to test the predatory capacity of fish on mosquito larvae and the influence of fish chemical cues on oviposition. In the field, there was less chance of finding culicine larvae where Tilapia guineensis, the most common floodplain fish, were present; however, the presence of anophelines was not related to the presence or absence of any fish species. In semifield trials, both T. guineensis and Epiplatys spilargyreius were effective predators, removing all late-stage culicine and anopheline larvae within 1 d. Fewer culicines oviposited in sites with fish, suggesting that ovipositing culicine females avoid water with fish. In contrast, oviposition by anophelines was unaffected by fish. Our studies show that T. guineensis is a potential candidate for controlling mosquitoes in The Gambia.