Histological Parameters Useful in the Identification of Multiple Bloodmeals in Mosquitoes

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  • Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; University of Massachusetts, University of Maryland, Amherst, Massachusetts

Culex nigripalpus females were given double and, in 2 cases, triple (interrupted) bloodmeals separated by various intervals. Mosquitoes given single meals served as controls. Using Azan-stained serial paraffin sections, we could identify multiple meals separated by 1–72 hr in 44 of 53 cases (84.6%). Among the histological parameters of importance in the identification of double and triple bloodmeals are the peritrophic membrane secreted around each bloodmeal, the plug which forms between the anterior and posterior midgut, the layer of heme which forms as a bloodmeal is digested, and remnants of the pupal meconium and/or pupal-pharate adult peritrophic membranes. The parameters we have identified will help determine the incidence of double bloodfeeding in wild populations which, in turn, should enhance our understanding of the transmission of pathogens by mosquitoes.

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