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Olfaction in Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus: flight orientation response to certain saturated carboxylic acids in human skin emanations


The flight orientation response of nonblood-fed and hungry Aedes albopictus females was studied in a Y-tube olfactometer at 10−6 to 10−2 g odor plumes of saturated carboxylic acids (C1–C20), in which C2–C18 were the main constituents of human skin emanations. Thirteen acids viz C1, C2, C3, C5, C6, C8 C9, C10, C12, C14, C16, C18, and C20 showed attractance at odor plumes ranging from 10−5 to 10−3 g doses, while five acids viz C4, C7, C11, C15, and C19 showed repellence at 10−4 to 10−2 g to test mosquitoes. Tridecanoic acid (C13) showed attractance only at 10−4 g dose while higher doses caused repellence. Dose-dependent reversal of orientation behavior from attractance to repellence was observed at 10−2 g plumes of C5, C9, C10, C13, C17, C19, and C20 acids. The outcome of the study will help in the identification of odoriferous acids as potential attractants, repellents, or attraction inhibitors, which may find their application in the repellent formulations and odor-baited traps for surveillance and control of mosquitoes.

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The work received financial grants through the Project-201 (S&T) of Defence Research & Development Establishment, Gwalior. The authors are thankful to Director, for his keen interest and encouragement. We thank all the members of the Vector Management Division for the help in maintenance of the mosquito culture. Lopamudra expresses her gratitude to the Defence Research & Development Organisation, New Delhi, for the Junior Research Fellowship provided during the course of work.

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Correspondence to T. Seenivasagan.

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Seenivasagan, T., Guha, L., Parashar, B.D. et al. Olfaction in Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus: flight orientation response to certain saturated carboxylic acids in human skin emanations. Parasitol Res 113, 1927–1932 (2014).

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  • Aedes albopictus
  • Human skin emanations
  • Attractant
  • Repellent
  • Host-seeking behavior
  • Olfaction