The effect of larval and adult nutrition on successful autogenous egg production by a mosquito

J Insect Physiol. 2004 Jul;50(7):677-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2004.05.001.


Females of most mosquito species require a blood meal to provision eggs and can be medical problems because of this dependency. Autogenous mosquitoes do not require blood to mature an initial egg batch and, instead, acquire nutrients for egg provisioning as larvae. We studied the importance of larval and adult nourishment for Ochlerotatus atropalpus which is obligatory autogenous for its first egg cycle but may ingest blood for subsequent cycles. Larval nourishment strongly influenced autogenous egg production: female larvae that were nutritionally stressed emerged as smaller adults, produced fewer eggs and emerged with less protein, lipid and glycogen stores. Female Oc. atropalpus are 100% autogenous, regardless of larval diet quality or whether females are fed sugar or water at emergence. Upon completion of the first egg batch, only females emerging from a poor larval diet ingested blood and produced a second egg batch.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Culicidae / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Larva / physiology
  • Nutritional Requirements*
  • Oogenesis
  • Ovary / growth & development
  • Oviposition / physiology*
  • Reproduction / physiology*