Energy budget of swarming male mosquitoes


Dr B. Yuval, Department of Entomology, Hebrew University, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel.



  • 1The objective of this study was to determine, in the field, the energetic costs of swarming for male Anopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae). By comparing the caloric contents of resting males to marked males captured after swarming, we established when sugar feeding takes place, what energy source is used to fuel swarming flight, and how much energy is invested in this activity.
  • 2Sugar-feeding takes place sometime during the night after swarming is concluded. Nectar sugars are therefore not immediately available to fuel flight. Stored sugars (trehalose and glucose) and glycogen are the primary sources of energy for flight. Lipids are not used to fuel flight but may be used in resting metabolism.
  • 3Male size is not related to feeding success. For males of all sizes, swarming consumes more than 50% of available calories. Accordingly, the ability of an individual to find and exploit nectar sources will greatly affect reproductive success.