Differential effects of larval and adult nutrition on female survival, fecundity, and size of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Jiayue Yan, Roumaissa Kibech, Chris M. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is the principal vector of medically-important infectious viruses that cause severe illness such as dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika. The transmission potential of mosquitoes for these arboviruses is largely shaped by their life history traits, such as size, survival and fecundity. These life history traits, to some degree, depend on environmental conditions, such as larval and adult nutrition (e.g., nectar availability). Both these types of nutrition are known to affect the energetic reserves and life history traits of adults, but whether and how nutrition obtained during larval and adult stages have an interactive influence on mosquito life history traits remains largely unknown. Results: Here, we experimentally manipulated mosquito diets to create two nutritional levels at larval and adult stages, that is, a high or low amount of larval food (HL or LL) during larval stage, and a good and poor adult food (GA or PA, represents normal or weak concentration of sucrose) during adult stage. We then compared the size, survival and fecundity of female mosquitoes reared from these nutritional regimes. We found that larval and adult nutrition affected size and survival, respectively, without interactions, while both larval and adult nutrition influenced fecundity. There was a positive relationship between fecundity and size. In addition, this positive relationship was not affected by nutrition. Conclusions: These findings highlight how larval and adult nutrition differentially influence female mosquito life history traits, suggesting that studies evaluating nutritional effects on vectorial capacity traits should account for environmental variation across life stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalFrontiers in Zoology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Egg number
  • Hazard ratios
  • Mosquito longevity
  • Nutritional stress
  • Survival curves
  • Wing length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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