Oviposition response of gravid Anopheles albimanus Wiedemman (Diptera: Culicidae) females to water containing Brachiaria mutica, Cynodon dactylon, Jouvea straminea, Fimbristylis spadicea, and Ceratophyllum demersum was investigated. Gravid An. albimanus females deposited similar egg numbers in cups containing natural plants in water from natural breeding sites and in cups containing natural plants in distilled water. Gravid mosquitoes deposited significantly more eggs in cups containing natural plants in water from natural breeding sites than in cups containing artificial plants in water from the corresponding natural breeding sites. These results were confirmed in experiments conducted in a wind tunnel, indicating that female response is mediated by chemical cues from plants. Bioassays with organic extracts of all 5 plant species indicated that these extracts at 100%, 10%, and 1% concentrations had an oviposition repellent effect, while attractiveness was observed at 0.1%, 0.01%, and 0.001%. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis of the organic extracts found in all 5 plants showed a mixture of terpenoid and alcohol compounds, among them: guaiacol, phenol, isoeugenol, longifolene, caryophyllene, phenyl ethyl alcohol, and p-cresol. These results suggest that middle-range volatiles from plants may function as chemical cues for the female's oviposition response in this mosquito species.
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Vol. 21 • No. 4