Longitudinal studies of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in Thailand and Puerto Rico: blood feeding frequency

J Med Entomol. 2000 Jan;37(1):89-101. doi: 10.1603/0022-2585-37.1.89.


We used a histologic technique to study multiple blood feeding in a single gonotrophic cycle by engorged Aedes aegypti (L.) that were collected weekly for 2 yr from houses in a rural village in Thailand (n = 1,891) and a residential section of San Juan, Puerto Rico (n = 1,675). Overall, mosquitoes from Thailand contained significantly more multiple meals (n = 1,300, 42% double meals, 5% triple meals) than mosquitoes collected in Puerto Rico (n = 1,156, 32% double meals, 2% triple meals). The portion of specimens for which frequency of feeding could not be determined was 31% at both sites. We estimated that on average Ae. aegypti take 0.76 and 0.63 human blood meals per day in Thailand and Puerto Rico, respectively. However, frequency of multiple feeding varied among houses and, in Puerto Rico, the neighborhoods from which mosquitoes were collected. In Thailand 65% of the mosquitoes fed twice on the same day, whereas in Puerto Rico 57% took multiple meals separated by > or = 1 d. At both sites, the majority of engorged specimens were collected inside houses (Thailand 86%, Puerto Rico 95%). The number of blood meals detected was independent of where mosquitoes were collected (inside versus outside of the house) at both sites and the time of day collections were made in Puerto Rico. Feeding rates were slightly higher for mosquitoes collected in the afternoon in Thailand. Temperatures were significantly higher and mosquitoes significantly smaller in Thailand than in Puerto Rico. At both sites female size was negatively associated with temperature. Rates of multiple feeding were associated positively with temperature and negatively with mosquito size in Thailand, but not in Puerto Rico. Multiple feeding during a single gonotrophic cycle is a regular part of Ae. aegypti biology, can vary geographically and under different climate conditions, and may be associated with variation in patterns of dengue virus transmission.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes* / growth & development
  • Aedes* / parasitology
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Blood
  • Humans
  • Insect Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Rural Health
  • Seasons
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Urban Health