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J Vector Ecol. 2001 Jun;26(1):21-31.

Aedes aegypti: size, reserves, survival, and flight potential.

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Institute of Zoology, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


Female Aedes aegypti of small and large body sizes were fed ad libitum from eclosion with eight different concentrations of sucrose from 0.1% to 50%; females were also starved with access to water. For each experiment we determined the survivorship of such populations. The 90%, 50%, 10%, and maximal survivorships followed linear regressions with the logarithm of the sucrose concentration. For each condition we measured the extent of synthesis of glycogen and lipid reserves. There was a critical sucrose concentration of 0.5% for both size classes: lower concentrations were of no nutritive effect, and all higher concentrations extended survivorship and allowed reserve synthesis. With respect to the teneral value, and normalized for body size, the maximal amounts of glycogen increased 2-3-fold within one week, whereas lipogenesis increased 3-5-fold requiring two weeks. Solid sugar cubes could also be utilized as long as drinking water was available, but synthesis of additional reserves failed. Flight mill experiments revealed the temporal flight pattern, its maturation after eclosion, and the maximal flight performances. Flights shorter than 1000 m per female per night were considered as low activities, whereas flights lower than 1000 m represented strong vigorous flights. Maximal distances were from 11-18 km/female/night. Periods of continuous flights lasted between 2-9 hr per female (mean 2.2 hr). Maximal flight performances were gradually reached within the first and third day of eclosion. Mean caloric energy consumption during flight was 33% to 44% of the pre-flight glycogen, accompanied by lipid reductions of 9%. Evidently, feeding on carbohydrates allows extended flight activities of this species and is essential for survival in the absence of blood meals.

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