After 10 years the myth of Crotalaria spp. and dragonflies remains alive

Após 10 anos, o mito de Crotalaria spp. e libélulas permanece vivo

Joás Brito Nayara Louback-Franco Cristian Mendoza Flávia Nonato Leandro Juen Thaisa Michelan About the authors


The struggle to control insect-borne diseases can lead to make rash decisions. For instance, the controversial method of planting of Crotalaria spp. to attract predatory dragonflies can be used to control insect vectors of dengue fever and several other medically significant insect-borne diseases. Nevertheless, there is no scientific support for this assumption. Despite the lack of evidence, in Brazil, there remains a multitude of online articles and grey literature sources still promote Crotalaria planting as a means to prevent dengue fever. Here we discuss the reasons why Odonata would not be attracted by Crotalaria and, therefore, it cannot not be considered as an efficient method for vector control. Finally, the best practice to avoid the spread of insect-borne diseases in the tropics is to avoid the accumulation of standing water in urban areas.

Mosquitoes; tropical diseases; zika; invasive species

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil