Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2010
Publication Date: 10/15/2010
Citation: Xue, R., Barnard, D.R. 2010. Effects of body size and nutritional regimen on survival in adult Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology. 47(5):778-782. DOI: 10/1603/ME09222. Interpretive Summary: The lifespan of a female mosquito determines how many times she will take a blood meal and the likelihood that a pathogen acquired during blood feeding will be transmitted to another host. Two factors that affect mosquito lifespan are body size and nutritional regimen, the latter requiring imbibition of blood and/or plant sugars. In this study, ARS and university scientists determined the effects of adult body size combined with different nutritional regimens on survival and longevity in the Asian tiger mosquito. The availability of sucrose was found to be more important for the survival of female mosquitoes than the availability of blood, although sucrose and blood significantly increased survival when compared with water alone. The results of the study indicate that the availability of plant sugars to Asian tiger mosquitoes significantly increases adult longevity and can be an important factor in the transmission of mosquito-borne disease agents to animals/humans.
Technical Abstract: The effects of adult body size and nutritional regimen on the mean time to death (LT) for the 50th (LT50) and 90th centiles (LT90) of large and small male and female Aedes albopictus (Skuse) was determined in the laboratory. The estimated LT50 and the LT90 for large/small females was significantly shorter for test populations receiving Water (5.1/3.8 d) or Water + Blood (6.7/5.0 d) than for those receiving Sucrose (44.4/31.7 d) or Sucrose + Blood (41.4/29.2 d). The estimated LT50 and LT90 for large/small males receiving Water (respectively: 3.2/ 2.5 d and 4.8/3.8 d) was significantly shorter than for those receiving Sucrose (respectively: 18.8/15.9 d and 34.9/32.6 d). The availability of Sucrose to adult mosquitoes extended the maximum life span of large and small male and female Ae. albopictus by 6-8 x when compared with the availability of Water or Water + Blood. Results indicate that sugar availability is more important than blood as a nutritional parameter for survival and longevity of Ae. albopictus in the laboratory.