Addressing the Mosquito Menace: Gambusia Fish Release

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November 23, 2023

Addressing the Mosquito Menace: Gambusia Fish Release

BMC releases Gambusia fish in four major drains to combat mosquito menace  in Odisha Capital


  • Recent initiatives in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Punjab by various government and non-governmental bodies have focused on introducing Gambusia fish into local water bodies as a strategic measure to combat the prevalent mosquito menace. The Gambusia fish, widely known as mosquitofish, is renowned for its efficacy in controlling mosquito larvae, making it a notable biological agent in mosquito population management.

Insights into Gambusia Fish

  • Originating from the southeastern United States, Gambusia fish have been integral to mosquito-control strategies globally for over a century. Notably, in India, these fish have played a pivotal role in diverse malaria control schemes since 1928, including the Urban Malaria Scheme. Their remarkable appetite for mosquito larvae sees a single mature fish consuming approximately 100 to 300 larvae per day, positioning them as a formidable force in curbing mosquito populations.
  • However, despite their utility, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized Gambusia as one of the 100 worst invasive alien species worldwide, shedding light on the potential ecological implications of their introduction.

Understanding Malaria

  • Malaria, caused by the Plasmodium parasite, poses significant health risks, primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes, commonly active during dusk and dawn, facilitate the transmission of five types of parasites responsible for malaria in humans:
  • Plasmodium falciparum: Predominant in Africa, this parasite accounts for a majority of malaria-related fatalities globally.
  • Plasmodium vivax: Mainly found in Asia and South America, this parasite causes milder symptoms but can lie dormant in the liver for up to 3 years, leading to relapses.
  • Plasmodium ovale: Relatively rare and prevalent in West Africa, it can persist in the human liver for several years without inducing symptoms.
  • Plasmodium malariae: Limited to Africa, this parasite is responsible for specific malaria cases.
  • Plasmodium knowlesi: Rare and localized in parts of Southeast Asia, it represents a minimal occurrence in malaria cases.


  • The strategic release of Gambusia fish as a means to control mosquito populations addresses the immediate challenges posed by these insects. However, alongside its effectiveness, the potential environmental impact of introducing Gambusia warrants careful consideration. Understanding the dynamics between biological agents and ecosystems remains crucial in adopting sustainable measures against malaria and mosquito-borne diseases.

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Addressing the Mosquito Menace: Gambusia Fish Release | Vaid ICS Institute