“Physiologically Old” Mosquitoes are not Necessarily Old Physiologically

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  • Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602

The use of the term “physiological aging” to describe certain morphological changes in the mosquito ovary is misleading, because these changes are not always correlated with senescence. With respect to the amount of blood ingested as a replete meal, as well as to host-seeking behavior following a partial blood meal, 21-day-old mosquitoes which have undergone one or more gonotrophic cycles are more similar physiologically to 5-day-old females than to other 21-day-old mosquitoes which have not blood-fed. The term “physiological aging” should be used solely to denote true physiological changes associated with senescence. We suggest that “gonotrophic aging” be used to denote the visible changes in the ovariole that accompany the maturation and deposition of each batch of eggs.