Superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar is not limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species

Authors


*Marieta Braks, Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521. U.S.A. e-mail: marietabraks@hotmail.com

Abstract

Abstract.  Anthropophilic mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to have superior reproductive success on human blood when sugar is not available. Life-table experiments were conducted with Aedes albopictus Skuse and Ae. aegypti to compare the effects of sugar availability on age-specific survivorship, lifetime and daily fecundity, and blood-feeding frequency when offered human blood daily. There were no significant interactions between the effects of sugar availability and mosquito species for these four variables, indicating similar effects of sugar availability for both species. Lifetime fecundity was not significantly affected by sugar availability, but sugar-deprived females had significantly reduced age-specific survivorship than did sugar-fed females. In absence of sugar, females took bloodmeals twice as often, resulting in a higher daily fecundity. The results indicate that superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar does not seem to be limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species, such as Ae. aegypti. We conclude that evolution of a highly anthropophilic feeding strategy is not an inevitable result of the ability to thrive on human blood alone.

Ancillary