Laboratory evaluation of predation on mosquito larvae by Australian mangrove fish.
A series of laboratory experiments compared predation rates of three native eastern Australian mangrove fish species (Psuedomugil signifer, Hyseleotris galii, Pseudogobius sp.) and the exotic Gambusia holbrooki on 2nd and 4th instar Aedes vigilax larvae, in order to determine their potential as mosquito control agents in mangrove forests. All four species preyed on significant numbers of both 2nd and 4th instar larvae. All showed a similar pattern of larval consumption, gorging on larvae in the first hour of each experiment, before reducing to a relatively constant background feeding rate. Gambusia holbrooki showed the highest larval consumption rates, but is unsuitable as a mosquito control agent due to it being an exotic pest species in Australia. Of the three native species, P. signifer showed the greatest potential as a mosquito control agent, having consumption rates comparable to G. holbrooki, and was the only species that did not show a significant reduction in larval consumption in the night experiments.