The impact of uniform and mixed species blood meals on the fitness of the mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae s.s: does a specialist pay for diversifying its host species diet?
Version of Record online: 4 JAN 2012
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 452–460, March 2012
How to Cite
LYIMO, I. N., KEEGAN, S. P., RANFORD-CARTWRIGHT, L. C. and FERGUSON, H. M. (2012), The impact of uniform and mixed species blood meals on the fitness of the mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae s.s: does a specialist pay for diversifying its host species diet?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25: 452–460. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02442.x
- Issue online: 13 FEB 2012
- Version of Record online: 4 JAN 2012
- Received 19 July 2011; Revised 22 September 2011; Accepted 6 November 2011
- host-parasite interaction;
- life history evolution;
- natural selection;
We investigated the fitness consequences of specialization in an organism whose host choice has an immense impact on human health: the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s. We tested whether this mosquito’s specialism on humans can be attributed to the relative fitness benefits of specialist vs. generalist feeding strategies by contrasting their fecundity and survival on human-only and mixed host diets consisting of blood meals from humans and animals. When given only one blood meal, An. gambiae s.s. survived significantly longer on human and bovine blood, than on canine or avian blood. However, when blood fed repeatedly, there was no evidence that the fitness of An. gambiae s.s. fed a human-only diet was greater than those fed generalist diets. This suggests that the adoption of generalist host feeding strategies in An. gambiae s.s. is not constrained by intraspecific variation in the resource quality of blood from other available host species.