The crested auklet, Aethia cristatella, emits a class of aldehydes shown to be potent invertebrate repellents when used by heteropterans against their predators. Our aim was to determine the efficacy of these aldehydes against mosquitoes in the laboratory. Synthetic analogues of the auklet odorant were strongly repellent to mosquitoes in controlled laboratory trials. Furthermore, the efficacy was similar to previous reports for commercial mosquito repellents. These results, in combination with a previously published study, show that constituents of the aldehyde odorant are broad spectrum in efficacy against ectoparasitic arthropods of birds. Our report is the first empirical evidence for an endogenous mosquito repellent in birds.
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