Body odour

How a frog drives away mosquitoes

Published: Friday 31 March 2006

-- (Credit: Shyamal)Are mosquitoes driving you crazy? Try the services of Litoria caerulea, a tree frog that inhabits forests in northern Australia and New Guinea.

Secretions from the skin of the frog can effectively ward off mosquitoes, claim researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia. They washed off the secretions with distilled water and applied the solution to the tails of lab mice. When exposed to mosquitoes, the mice remained bite-free for up to 50 minutes. The researchers suggest the secretions could provide an alternative to synthetic mosquito repellents, which have been linked to various adverse health effects. The findings were published online on February 21, 2006 in Biology Letters.

Frogs and toads exude toxic chemicals from their skin to ward off pests and predators. Efforts are now underway to synthesise such molecules to enable their mass production.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.