African Journal of Biotechnology

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Biological control agent for mosquito larvae: Review on the killifish, Aphanius dispar dispar (Rüppel, 1829)

AS Al-Akel, EM Suliman


This review attempts to give an account on the recent advances on the killifish Aphanius dispar dispar as a biological control agent for mosquito larvae. Thirty six (36) articles of literature (scientific papers, technical and workshop reports) on this subject covering the period between 1980 and 2009 were reviewed. The larviciding process by using chemicals to control mosquitoes in the past resulted in a very harmful effects on the environment (bioaccumulation of DDT), resistance of mosquito vectors, destruction of non-target organisms and human health hazards. Biological control of mosquito larvae by using fish has shown many advantages over chemicals, but exogenous fishes such as Gambusia affinis may have negative effects on fishes and destroy the local habitat. Eco-friendly indigenous larvivorous fish with less harm to the environment and the local fish fauna is suitable for biological control of mosquito larvae. Furthermore, A. dispar is capable of natural and artificial reproduction to maintain a fish stock in order to eliminate mosquito larvae and protect people from many mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, rift valley fever (RVF), encephalitis and many others (Suliman, 2010). Hence, the indigenous killifish, A. dispar is found to play this role effectively and efficiently. Problems associated with its artificial breeding and fungal infection of its eggs can be further investigated. In addition to this, integrated methods of biological control should be carried out in order to reach the best targets of mosquito control.

Key words: Biological control, mosquito larvae, indigenous fish, Aphanius dispar.

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