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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

CAVALCANTI, Luciano Pamplona de Góes et al. Efficacy of fish as predators of Aedes aegypti larvae, under laboratory conditions. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.4, pp. 638-644.  Epub June 05, 2007. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102006005000041.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of fish as predators of the Aedes aegypti larvae in laboratory conditions. METHODS: The male and female of five different fish were included in the experiment. The tests to measure their consumption ability lasted five weeks for each species. Each trial involved four test tanks and four control tanks. Two control tanks contained just one fish, and the other two just larvae. Each of the test tanks contained one fish and the larvae. During the first week, 100 larvae were placed in the tank, with an additional 100 added every week, up to a maximum daily amount of 500 larvae. The length and weight of the fish were measured at the beginning and end of every week. RESULTS: A total of 369,000 larvae were used. The Trichogaster trichopteros was the only species in which both sexes ate 100% of the available larvae. The Betta splendens failed to eat only 15 larvae. The male Poecilia reticulate showed a strong capacity for larvae eating, compared with the female of the same species. In terms of weight and size, the Betta splendens proved capable of eating 523 larvae per gram of weight per day. CONCLUSIONS: The female and male Trichogaster trichopteros and Astyanax fasciatus, and the female Betta splendens and Poecilia sphenops proved to be the most effective predators of the Aedes aegypti larvae. And although the male Poecilia sphenops and female Poecilia reticulata were less effective, they were also capable of eradicating the total number of Aedes aegypti larvae that could appear over 24 hours in a breeding site under natural conditions. The male Poecilia reticulata, however, proved incapable of doing so.

Keywords : Aedes aegypti; Larva; Fishes; Mosquito control; Pest control, biological; Laboratory experiment; Betta splendens; Trichogaster sp.; Poecilia sp.; Astyanax sp.

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