In mosquitoes and several other families of hematophagous Diptera, the females of some species can develop at least their initial egg batch on a blood-free diet. This trait, which is called autogeny, is especially common in culicids, ceratopogonids and tabanids occurring in saltmarshes and other saline habitats. Both obligate and facultative types of autogeny have been found in the saltmarsh mosquito, Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus. Some O. taeniorhynchus females require a blood meal for the development of each egg batch, for other females of this species blood feeding is optional for the maturation of the first egg batch (facultative autogeny), and still other O. taeniorhynchus females take blood only after the first egg batch has been laid (obligate autogeny). The prevalence of facultative and obligate autogeny varies considerably among populations of O. taeniorhynchus, and blood feeding requirements for egg development may be influenced by sugar feeding, mating and conditions in the larval habitat. Blood feeding in the crabhole mosquito, Deinocerites cancer, appears to be delayed until after the first egg batch has been laid; some parous D. cancer females are facultative blood feeders and can produce an egg batch either with or without a blood meal. In southern Florida, populations of the saltmarsh mosquito, Ochlerotatus sollicitans, are sympatric with those of O. taeniorhynchus and D. cancer; yet autogeny is found rarely in O. sollicitans. Clearly, among mosquitoes inhabiting saline environments, there is a great deal of variation in gonotrophic interactions. To discover the underlying mechanisms responsible for this variation, we need to consider the impact of factors not in only in the mosquito’s terrestrial environments, but also in its aquatic habitats.
Species 1: Diptera Culicidae (mosquitoes)
Keywords: gonotrophic interactions, autogeny, blood feeding, egg development
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA