Predator selection and predator-prey interactions for the biological control of mosquito dengue vectors in northern Vietnam

Cuong Van Duong, Uyen Thi Phuong Tran, Vinh Van Nguyen, Yeon Jae Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Predators and their interactions with target prey influence the efficiency of control strategies. In the present study, we demonstrate the implementation of natural predator selection for controlling dengue vectors in northern Vietnam through field-based observation of aquatic insect predators in natural habitats and lab-based assessment of predatorial capacities for several aquatic insect predators. The selected species was then used to evaluate the predatory-prey interaction using functional responses (FRs) toward 3rd- and 4th-instar larvae of four major medical mosquito species (Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Anopheles minimus). The preference of selected predators for Ae. aegypti larvae over other mosquito larvae was also investigated. Both field observation and lab experiments indicated that the giant water bug Diplonychus rusticus was abundant and exhibited the highest predatory capacity for mosquito larvae. The predator exhibited type II FRs when offered each of the four prey species, and the greatest attack rates were observed for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, with only negligible differences observed in the handling times of the prey species. Further, Manly's selectivity (α) values calculated from the prey choice experiments showed that Ae. aegypti was preferred over both Cx. quinquefasciatus and An. minimus. Together, these findings indicate that D. rusticus could be successfully used to facilitate the biological control of both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus within the species' distributional overlap in Southeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aedes albopictus
  • biological mosquito control
  • Diplonychus rusticus
  • functional response
  • prey preference
  • tropical Southeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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