How often are male mosquitoes attracted to humans?

Véronique Paris*, Christopher Hardy, Ary A. Hoffmann, Perran A. Ross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Many mosquito species live close to humans where females feed on human blood. While male mosquitoes do not feed on blood, it has long been recognized that males of some species can be attracted to human hosts. To investigate the frequency of male mosquito attraction to humans, we conducted a literature review and human-baited field trials, as well as laboratory experiments involving males and females of three common Aedes species. Our literature review indicated that male attraction to humans is limited to a small number of species, including Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. In our human-baited field collections, only 4 out of 13 species captured included males. In laboratory experiments, we found that male Ae. notoscriptus and Ae. vigilax showed no attraction to humans, while male Ae. aegypti exhibited persistent attraction for up to 30 min. Both male and female Ae. aegypti displayed similar preferences for different human subjects, suggesting that male Ae. aegypti respond to similar cues as females. Additionally, we found that mosquito repellents applied to human skin effectively repelled male mosquitoes. These findings shed light on mosquito behaviour and have implications for mosquito control programmes, particularly those involving the release or monitoring of the male mosquito population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number230921
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume10
Issue number10
ISSN2054-5703
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Aedes
  • disease control
  • host-seeking behaviour
  • human-bait collection

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