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Cues for Mosquito - Host sensing

James Mahaffy mahaffy at CC.DORDT.EDU
Mon Feb 20 08:04:45 EST 1995

Nevil said:
>   What are the actual cues for a female mosquito to sense it's vertebrate 
> source of blood ? Why doesn't the male "sense" them ? 
>   Would be grateful to anyone who can provide some definite answers and/or
> guide me to some of the more recent reading materials on the topic.
> Thanking you,

Since this is the second message, that came across the net, I am passing
on a post from an entomology friend. He also maintains an entomology www
site at Iowa, which is very nice. 

Here is the post.>collection of effective mediums.  I've heard that octenol is one such
>substance, as well as co2.  I'd appreciate any information or if you 
>could point me toward any research I'd appreciate it.


There is a wealth of literature on this topic. Pick up any issue of the
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association or the Journal of
Medical Entomology and you'll probably run across an article or two.

CO2 is by far the most commonly used. Octenol works for some genera but not
others (in combination with CO2) and lactic acid works in combination with
CO2. Other approaches are live baits (malaise traps) or aspirator/suction
traps (see many articles by Bidlingmayer).

The method you choose will depend on your objective. Engorged mosquitoes
may come to oviposition attractants; host-seeking mosquitoes will come to
host odors.


-- John VanDyk, Medical Entomology       Internet: jvandyk at iastate.edu --
436 Science II, Iowa State Univ., Ames IA 50011 (USA); Phone 515-294-4387

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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