The vector competence in Ae. aegypti (L.) and Ae. albopictus (Skuse) from southern Taiwan to the dengue 1 virus was studied to elucidate the distribution of dengue infection during the 1987-1988 outbreak. The brain of Ae. aegypti was infected as early as 3 d after intrathoracic inoculation. The esophagus and the proboscis (tissues within the labium) were infected 5 d after inoculation. The salivary gland was highly susceptible to the virus, but no specific infection site was found. Gangli, muscles, and diverticula within the thorax were not infected. In the abdominal area, the ventral diverticula, Malpighian tubules, ganglia, and the dorsal vessel were not infected. However, the entire gut was susceptible to dengue 1 virus, although it was not infected simultaneously. Only a certain type of midgut epithelial cells was infected by the virus. The ovarioles, oviducts, and accessory glands frequently were infected. However, the spermathecae were not infected, perhaps because of the chitin-rich outer layer. Infections of the testes, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and accessory glands of males also were detected in this study. The tissues of the proboscis were never infected in Ae. albopictus but frequently were infected in Ae. aegypti, indicating that the virus may escape the salivary gland barrier more efficiently in Ae. aegypti than in Ae. albopictus. When these mosquitoes were fed on hanging drops, the salivary gland infection and transmission rates of Ae. aegypti were always higher than those of Ae. albopictus. On Taiwan, Ae. aegypti appears to be a more competent vector in the transmission of the dengue 1 virus than Ae. albopictus.