Taipei, May 22 (CNA) A type of crustacean that thrives on mosquito larvae and can reproduce easily is being used by a local professor in field trials in southern Taiwan with the aim of helping prevent dengue fever.
Tsai Kun-hsien, an associate professor at National Taiwan University's College of Public Health, said Tuesday that larvae of the mesocyclops, a type of crustacean, feed on algae, while its imagoes eat the larvae of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever.
Tsai said his research has found three types of mesocyclops that can be found locally, which are particularly fond of the larvae of aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus -- both of which can transmit dengue fever.
Although it can be found in running water, mesocyclops prefer still water. A single mesocyclops can consume 20-40 mosquito larvae, he said.
Tsai, who has been conducting field trials in more than 400 basements around Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, said the completion of the project is scheduled for the end of the year.
(By Chen Ching-fang and Jamie Wang)