Multiple Blood Feeding in Anopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae)

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  • Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, California

The frequency of multiple blood feeding in field populations of Anopheles freeborni was determined. Fifty-six laboratory-reared mosquitoes, all known to have taken two blood meals, were used to define the limits of the histologic procedure we used. Seventy-eight percent of known double meals were detected when the interval between meals was from 1 to 24 hr, and the time from the second meal until fixation ranged from 0 to 24 hr. At intervals outside this range, 50% of multiple meals were detected. In field-collected An. freeborni, the most important histologic parameters for determination of multiple feeding were the amount of heme that developed around each meal, the peritrophic membrane, partially digested blood meals, and physical blood meal separation. Examination of 134 blood-engorged An. freeborni collected in the field showed that 9.7% had imbibed multiple blood meals. These results suggest that multiple blood meals in An. freeborni are more frequent than previously thought, perhaps with significant epidemiologic implications.

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