the mosquito () is an important vector of arboviruses, including Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. The dietary requirements of larval are not well understood and likely impact developmental and physiological parameters knowledge of which could be important for vector control. This study examines the effects nutrition has on growth and development of larval of laboratory-reared Rockefeller strain mosquitoes.
mosquito larvae were split into five feeding groups with diets providing different ratios of protein and carbohydrates. Each group received autolyzed Brewer’s yeast (AY – high-protein), and/or rice flour (RF-high-carbohydrate). The groups were monitored to record larval developmental times, adult sizes and nutritional stores.
the 100% AY group failed to pupate, suggesting the AY alone is either lacking in critical nutrients or is toxic at higher concentrations. The 100% RF group resulted in the smallest adults that took the longest time to reach pupation. Of the remaining groups, the 25% AY/75% RF (Med-low) diet yielded adult mosquitoes with highest average weight, wing length, and lipid stores relative to the other diets.
the dietary requirements for development, body size, and nutrient stores of mosquitoes appear to be dependent on a relatively low but essential proportion of dietary protein to carbohydrates to achieve optimal developmental outcomes.