Monday, December 11, 2006

Nutrition and survival of Culex spp. (Diptera: Culicidae) on various sugars

Erin M. Vrzal, evrzal@ufl.edu1, Sandra A. Allan, sallan@gainesville.usda.ufl.edu2, and Dan Hahn, dahahn@ufl.edu1. (1) University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department, PO Box 110620 Bldg. 970 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL, (2) USDA-ARS-CMAVE, 1600 SW 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL

Culex mosquitoes are important vectors of many arboviruses including West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. While Culex feed on nectar and other plant fluids, relatively little is known about the utilization of the different sugars in these sources for nutrition and survival of Culex. Male and female Culex quinquefasciatus Say were presented with 5% solutions of eight different sugars and a water control. The sugars ranged from monosaccharides (d-glucose, d-fructose, sorbose) to disaccharides (d-mannose, sucrose, trehalose) and trisaccharides (melezitose, raffinose). Levels of glycogen and triglycerides determined in individuals after set intervals indicated the ability to utilize each sugar for carbohydrate and lipid storage. Analysis of survival times of different sexes and different sugars demonstrated the importance of individual sugars in longevity of individuals. Longevity is an important factor in disease transmission and implications of feeding on different sugars as a contributing factor in disease transmission will be discussed.

Species 1: Diptera Culicidae Culex nigripalpus
Species 2: Diptera Culicidae Culex salinarius
Species 3: Diptera Culicidae Culex quinquefasciatus