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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Age modifies effect of body size on fecundity in Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae).)

item Mccann, Sean
item Day, Jonathan
item Allan, Sandra - Sandy
item Lord, Cynthia

Submitted to: Journal of Vector Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Mccann, S., Day, J.F., Allan, S.A., Lord, C.C. 2009. Age modifies effect of body size on fecundity in Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Vector Ecology. 34(2):174-181.

Interpretive Summary: Culex quinquefasciatus is one of the most important mosquito species in North America due to its status as a vector of arboviruses such as West Nile virus and its often close association with agricultural activities. A better understanding of the physiological attributes of these mosquitoes is critical for prediction of population increases and increased virus transmission. In this study, conducted in association with Sandra A. Allan at CMAVE, the effects of body size, blood meal size and age of mosquitoes on reproductive output was determined. Each of these factors affected egg production. This is the first discovery of an interaction between adult mosquito body size and age predicted fecundity and this provides an important factor that can be used in modeling mosquito populations and disease risk.

Technical Abstract: Fecundity of mosquitoes can vary with many factors, and can have a strong effect on population growth. This study reports the effects of body size, blood meal size and age on reproductive output of nulliparous Culex quinquefasciatus, a vector of arboviruses and other pathogens. Mated adult female mosquitoes from a colony were reared under standard conditions and fed on chickens at different ages post-eclosion. Blood meal size and wing length were recorded, as well as the number of eggs in the first-cycle egg raft. Each of these factors had a significant influence on fecundity considered in a simple regression context. Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant interaction effect between age and body size. Up to 13 days of age, fecundity was positively correlated with body size, but in mosquitoes older than 13 days, this relationship was not significantly different from zero. These results are discussed in terms of the known physiology of this and other species.

Last Modified: 05/28/2017
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