Analysis of post-blood meal flight distances in mosquitoes utilizing zoo animal blood meals



We assessed the post-blood meal flight distance of four mosquito species in a unique environment using blood meal analysis. Mosquitoes were trapped at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, NM, and the blood source of blood-engorged mosquitoes was identified. The distance from the enclosure of the animal serving as a blood source to the trap site was then determined. We found that mosquitoes captured at the zoo flew no more than 170 m with an average distance of 106.7 m after taking a blood meal. This is the first study in which the flight distance of wild mosquitoes has been assessed using blood meal analysis and the first in which zoo animals have served as the exclusive source of blood meals.