Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2008
Publication Date: 11/16/2008
Citation: Rinehart, J.P., Yocum, G.D., Robich, R.M. 2008. Cold storage of the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, in the absence of diapause. [Abstract].Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Poster #D0181, p. 107.
Technical Abstract: One major obstacle in vector biology experimentation is the rearing of mosquitoes. Most mosquito colonies require substantial effort to maintain, including a blood meal at least once a month for optimal performance. While the induction of diapause can be used to reduce the amount of work required for colony maintenance, many species do not have a well characterized diapause, and laboratory or mutant strains may not retain the ability to diapause. To address these problems, we investigated the use of long-term low temperature storage in the absence of diapause for adults of the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. When stored in a low temperature, high humidity environment within the presence of drinking water, female adult Cx. pipiens survived significantly longer than their counterparts reared at ambient temperature, with an optimal LD50 of 74 days. The presence of food further increased survival, increasing the LD50 to 155 days. Results were substantially different for adult male mosquitoes, with no combination of temperature or humidity resulting in increased survival. However, this problem was ameliorated by allowing the insects to mate prior to cold storage. Females that were mated prior to storage, then stored until their LD50 were able to produce fertile eggs after a blood meal, although only at about 50% of the number of eggs produced by the controls. Production levels were restored in subsequent generations. Optimization of cold storage for this and other species could lead to its widespread application in vector biology laboratories.