e-ISSN: 2321-6190 p-ISSN: 2347-2294

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The Asian House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus (Sauria: Gekkonidae), Contributes to the Control of Hematophagous Mosquitoes in Urban Areas of the Mexican State of Morelos

Abstract

In order to explore new methods for the control of domestic pests at low cost and without human disturbance, we examined the diet of Hemidactylusfrenatus from the stomach content analysis of 53 females and 47 males. The specimens were captured in ten urban areas of the state of Morelos, Mexico; where H. frenatus is well established and where interactions with humans are frequent. The diversity (H´) of the food, the variation between the components, and the overlap of the trophic niche between males and females were examined; as well as the differences between the rainy and dry seasons.The diet consisted of eleven arthropod groups, the most representative being Diptera (Culicidae) 23.73%, Araneae 20.45%, Hymenoptera (Formicidae and Cynipidae) 17.05%, Lepidoptera 14.20% and Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae) 10.80%. There were no significant differences in the diet by sex, nor between the dry and rainy seasons. The diversity of food consumed between males and females showed a high overlap value (Ojk=0.94709). Although it is true that the diet is opportunistic and is associated with the availability of food in urban areas; the increase in the consumption of Lepidoptera and hematophagous mosquitoes (Dipera) in the rainy season, to almost double that which occurs in dry, suggests that geckos can contribute to the control of these insects. Experimental studies are suggested to test this hypothesis.

Yirdael Muniz Corona, Maria Guadalupe Bustos-Zagal, Ruben Castro-Franco and Patricia Trujillo-Jimenez

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