Care and maintenance of Aedes mosquito colonies

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Abstract

Nearly 1200 species of Aedes have been described and given a formal Latin name. These species can be found in diverse habitats from Polynesian islands and African deserts to ice pools at the Arctic Circle. The larval nutrition and adult female host preference for blood-feeding is equally variable. Mating behaviours and preference for oviposition substrate are also distinctive for a given species. Considering first, the number of species and then, the diversity in habitat, nutrition and behaviour among these species, a single, simple rearing method cannot be devised that will be successful for all of them. In a recent manual of mosquito rearing, 59 species of Aedes are listed with methods for laboratory rearing (Gerberg et al., 1994). This listing includes species that are difficult or impossible to maintain in continuous colony. This is undoubtedly a very conservative estimate of the species that have been colonized but, even so, it indicates that far less than 10% of the described species have been successfully colonized.