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Predator-released hydrocarbons repel oviposition by a mosquito

Authors

  • Alon Silberbush,

    1. Community Ecology Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel
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  • Shai Markman,

    1. Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Haifa – Oranim, Tivon 36006, Israel
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  • Efraim Lewinsohn,

    1. Department of Vegetable Crops, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel
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  • Einat Bar,

    1. Department of Vegetable Crops, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel
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  • Joel E. Cohen,

    1. Laboratory of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities, 1230 York Avenue, Box 20, New York, NY 10065-6399, USA
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  • Leon Blaustein

    Corresponding author
    1. Community Ecology Laboratory, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel
      Correspondence: E-mail: leon@research.haifa.ac.il
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  • Alon Silberbush and Shai Markman contributed equally to this article.

Correspondence: E-mail: leon@research.haifa.ac.il

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2010) 13: 1129–1138

Abstract

Prey species commonly use predator-released kairomones (PRKs) to detect risk of predation, yet the chemical identity of PRKs remains elusive. Chemical identification of PRKs will facilitate the study of predator–prey interactions and the risk of predation, and when the prey are pests, will potentially provide environmentally friendly means of pest control. In temporary pools of the Mediterranean and Middle East, larvae of the mosquito Culiseta longiareolata Macquart are highly vulnerable to the common predatory backswimmer, Notonecta maculata Fabricius. We demonstrate that N. maculata releases two hydrocarbons, n-heneicosane and n-tricosane, which repel ovipositing females of C. longiareolata. In behavioural tests with environmentally relevant chemical concentrations in outdoor mesocosm experiments, the repellent effects of the two compounds were additive at the tested concentrations.

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