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J Med Entomol. 2011 Mar;48(2):202-11.

Male mating history and body size influence female fecundity and longevity of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti.

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Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Male reproductive success is dependent on insemination success and reproductive output. During mating, male mosquitoes transfer not just sperm, but also seminal fluid proteins that may have profound effects on mated female biology and behavior. In this study, we investigated the role of male body size and mating history on semen depletion, female longevity, and reproductive success in Aedes aegypti L. Small and large males were mated in rapid succession with up to five females. Our results indicate that large males had greater mating capacity than small males. A reduction in fecundity by >50% was observed in females that were fourth to mate with small males in comparison with females that mated earlier in sequence. For females mated to large males, this reduction became evident for females that mated fifth in sequence. No loss of fertility (measured as hatch rate) was observed in females that were third-fifth in mating sequence compared with females mated to virgin males. When females were maintained on a low-quality (5% sucrose) diet, those mated to virgin males had a greater longevity compared with females mated third in sequence. We conclude that small males experience more rapid seminal depletion than large males, and discuss the role of semen depletion in the mated female. Our results contribute toward a better understanding of the complexity of Ae. aegypti mating biology and provide refined estimates of mating capacity for genetic control efforts.

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