Articles | Volume 18, issue 1
Standard article
24 May 2018
Standard article |  | 24 May 2018

Effect of a dragonfly (Bradinopyga strachani Kirby, 1900) on the density of mosquito larvae in a field experiment using mesocosms

Daniel Acquah-Lamptey and Roland Brandl

Abstract. Laboratory experiments with food-deprived larvae of odonates suggested that these predators may have the potential to control mosquito populations. However, it remains unclear whether larvae of odonates co-occur with mosquito larvae in the field and whether larvae of odonates reduce the density of mosquito larvae in the field. We exposed 35 water-filled concrete containers in the field in shady and sunny conditions. Some of these containers were partially covered (for simplicity called closed containers, allowing only mosquitoes to lay eggs), whereas others remained open. The density of mosquito larvae was higher in shaded containers and in closed containers. The multivoltine odonate Bradinopyga strachani colonized open containers and the occurrence of these predators resulted in a clear reduction of the mosquito population. Our results indicate that increasing the colonization of water bodies by Bradinopyga strachani is a promising strategy for controlling populations of mosquitoes.

Short summary
In the absence of mosquitoes, diseases such as Malaria and Yellow fever will not exist. Although mosquito larvae have been identified to be a non-selective food to dragonfly larvae, it is unclear if the two naturally co-exist, hence reported as a non-viable strategy for controlling mosquito populations. However, a simple experiment in tropical Africa has shown a significant reduction in mosquitoes following colonization of mosquito larvae habitats by the dragonfly, Bradinopyga strachani.