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Studies on the natural predators of Culex pipiens L. and C. torrentium Martini (Diptera: Culicidae) in England

  • J. O. A. Onyeka (a1)
Abstract

The natural predators of Culex pipiens L. and C. torrentium Mart, in artificial containers and ponds were studied in southern England, using serological techniques. The antisera were from rabbits immunised by injections of saline extracts of the species of Culex into the inguinal lymph nodes and made relatively more specific by absorption. The gut contents or whole individuals of 1098 potential predators were smeared on to filter paper and tested. The most important predators in the ponds were Odonata nymphs while those of artificial containers were larval Dytiscidae. Diptera and Araneae preyed on emerging adults. The length of time a mosquito meal remained detectable in the gut of predators varied from a minimum of 8 h for the newt Triturus vulgaris to 24 h for the zygopteran Ischnura elegans (van der Linden). The results of laboratory tests indicated that the anisopteran Sympetrum striolatum (Charp.) was potentially more important as a biological control agent for larval culicines in ponds than the zygopteran Coenagrion puella (L.).

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Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-entomological-research
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