Skip to main content Accessibility help

Determination of the efficiency of diets for larval development in mass rearing Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

  • P.A.D.H.N. Gunathilaka (a1), U.M.H.U. Uduwawala (a2), N.W.B.A.L. Udayanga (a3), R.M.T.B. Ranathunge (a3), L.D. Amarasinghe (a2) and W. Abeyewickreme (a1) (a3)...


Larval diet quality and rearing conditions have a direct and irreversible effect on adult traits. Therefore, the current study was carried out to optimize the larval diet for mass rearing of Aedes aegypti, for Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)-based applications in Sri Lanka. Five batches of 750 first instar larvae (L1) of Ae. aegypti were exposed to five different concentrations (2–10%) of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommended the larval diet. Morphological development parameters of larva, pupa, and adult were detected at 24 h intervals along with selected growth parameters. Each experiment was replicated five times. General Linear Modeling along with Pearson's correlation analysis were used for statistical treatments. Significant differences (P < 0.05) among the larvae treated with different concentrations were found using General Linear Modeling in all the stages namely: total body length and the thoracic length of larvae; cephalothoracic length and width of pupae; thoracic length, thoracic width, abdominal length and the wing length of adults; along with pupation rate and success, sex ratio, adult success, fecundity and hatching rate of Ae. aegypti. The best quality adults can be produced at larval diet concentration of 10%. However, the 8% larval diet concentration was most suitable for adult male survival.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence Tel: +94 11 2958039 Fax: +94 11 2958337 E-mail:


Hide All
Alphey, L., Benedict, M., Bellini, R., Clark, G.G., Dame, D.A., Service, M.W. & Dobson, S.L. (2010) Sterile-insect methods for control of mosquito-borne diseases: an analysis. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 10(3), 295311.
Araújo, M.D.S. & Gil, L.H.S. (2012) Larval food quantity affects development time, survival and adult biological traits that influence the vectorial capacity of Anopheles darlingi under laboratory conditions. Malaria Journal 11(1), 261.
Balestrino, F., Medici, A., Candini, G., Carrieri, M., Maccagnani, B., Calvitti, M., Maini, S., & Bellini, R. (2010) γ ray dosimetry and mating capacity studies in the laboratory on Aedes albopictus males. Journal of Medical Entomology 47(4), 581591.
Balestrino, F., Puggioli, A., Gilles, J.R. & Bellini, R. (2014) Validation of a new larval rearing unit for Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) mass rearing. PloS one 9(3), e91914.
Bellini, R., Albieri, A., Balestrino, F., Carrieri, M., Porretta, D., Urbanelli, S., Calvitti, M., Moretti, R. & Maini, S. (2010) Dispersal and survival of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) males in Italian urban areas and significance for sterile insect technique application. Journal of Medical Entomology 47(6), 10821091.
Benedict, M.Q. & Robinson, A.S. (2003) The first releases of transgenic mosquitoes: an argument for the sterile insect technique. Trends in Parasitology 19(8), 349355.
Benedict, M.Q., Levine, R.S., Hawley, W.A. & Lounibos, L.P. (2007) Spread of the tiger: global risk of invasion by the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 7(1), 7685.
Benedict, M.Q., Knols, B.G., Bossin, H.C., Howell, P.I., Mialhe, E., Caceres, C. & Robinson, A.S. (2009) Colonisation and mass rearing: learning from others. Malaria Journal 8(2), S4.
Bonizzoni, M., Gasperi, G., Chen, X. & James, A.A. (2013) The invasive mosquito species Aedes albopictus: current knowledge and future perspectives. Trends in Parasitology 29(9), 460468.
Briegel, H. & Timmermann, S.E. (2001) Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae): physiological aspects of development and reproduction. Journal of Medical Entomology 38(4), 566571.
Carrieri, M., Colonna, R., Gentile, G. & Bellini, R. (2006) Lotta alla Zanzara Tigre: strategie a confronto. Igiene Alimenti-Disinfestazione & Igiene Ambientale 23(5), 4550.
Carvalho, D.O., Nimmo, D., Naish, N., McKemey, A.R., Gray, P., Wilke, A.B., Marrelli, M.T., Virginio, J.F., Alphey, L. & Capurro, M.L. (2014) Mass production of genetically modified Aedes aegypti for field releases in Brazil. Journal of Visualized Experiments 83, e3579.
Chambers, G.M. & Klowden, M.J. (1990) Correlation of nutritional reserves with a critical weight for pupation in larval Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 6(3), 394399.
Cohen, A.C. (2001) Formalizing insect rearing and artificial diet technology. American Entomologist 47(4), 198206.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) and prevention. (2016) Surveillance and Control of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States. Available at;
Cohen, A.C. (2003) Insect Diet Science and Technology. Boca Raton, FL, CRC, p. 429.
Coleman, P.G. & Alphey, L. (2004) Editorial: genetic control of vector populations: an imminent prospect. Tropical Medicine & International Health 9(4), 433437.
Dyck, V.A., Hendrichs, J. & Robinson, A.S. (2005) The Sterile Insect Technique: Principles and Practice in Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management. Dordrect, Netherlands: Springer.
Enserink, M. (2008) A mosquito goes global. Science 320(5878), 864866.
Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka; Dengue Update. (2017) Available at; (accessed on 14 July 2017).
Gilles, J.R.L., Lees, R.S., Soliban, S.M. & Benedict, M.Q. (2011) Density-dependent effects in experimental larval populations of Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) can be negative, neutral, or overcompensatory depending on density and diet levels. Journal of Medical Entomology 48(2), 296304.
Gratz, N.G. (2004) Critical review of the vector status of Aedes albopictus. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 18(3), 215227.
Gunathilaka, N., Ranathunge, T., Udayanga, L. & Abeyewickreme, W. (2017) Efficacy of blood sources and artificial blood feeding methods in rearing of Aedes aegypti (Diptera; Culicidae) for Sterile Insect Technique and Incompatible Insect technique approaches in Sri Lanka. BioMed Research International 2017(7), Article ID 3196924, doi: 10.1155/2017/3196924.
Hendrichs, J. & Robinson, A.S. (2009) Sterile insect technique. in Resh, V.H. & Carde, R.T. (e ds) Encyclopedia of Insects. 2nd edn, pp. 10741078. Burlington, MA, Academic.
Invasive Species Specialist Group. (2009) Global invasive species database–Aedes albopictus. Available at; asp?si¼109&fr¼1&sts¼sss&lang¼EN (accessed 24 February 2017).
Koenraadt, C.J.M. (2008). Pupal dimensions as predictors of adult size in fitness studies of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 45(2), 331336.
Knipling, E.F. (1955) Possibilities of insect control or eradication through the use of sexually sterile males. Journal of Economic Entomology 48(4), 459462.
Lambrechts, L., Scott, T.W. & Gubler, D.J. (2010) Consequences of the expanding global distribution of Aedes albopictus for dengue virus transmission. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4(5), 646.
Medici, A., Carrieri, M., Scholte, E.J., Maccagnani, B., Dindo, M.L. & Bellini, R. (2011) Studies on Aedes albopictus larval mass-rearing optimization. Journal of Economic Entomology 104(1), 266273.
Medlock, J.M., Hansford, K.M., Schaffner, F., Versteirt, V., Hendrickx, G., Zeller, H. & Bortel, W.V. (2012) A review of the invasive mosquitoes in Europe: ecology, public health risks, and control options. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 12(6), 435447.
Nadeeka, P.V.J., Gunathilaka, P.A.D.H.N., and Amarasinghe, L.D. (2014) Geographic, economic and socio-cultural factors which defining the risk of dengue transmission in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Journal of Experimental Biology and Agriculture Sciences 2(2), 158164.
Petersen, V., Marchi, M.J., Natal, D., Marrelli, M.T., Barbosa, A.C. & Suesdek, L. (2016) Assessment of the correlation between wing size and body weight in captive Culex quinquefasciatus. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 49(4), 508511.
Puggioli, A., Balestrino, F., Damiens, D., Lees, R.S., Soliban, S.M., Madakacherry, O., Dindo, M.L., Bellini, R. and Gilles, J.R.L. (2013) Efficiency of three diets for larval development in mass rearing Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 50(4), 819825.
Puggioli, A., Carrieri, M., Dindo, M.L., Medici, A., Lees, R.S., Gilles, J.R.L. & Bellini, R. (2016) Development of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae under different laboratory conditions. Journal of Medical Entomology 54(1), 142149.
Rainey, S.M., Shah, P., Kohl, A. & Dietrich, I. (2014) Understanding the Wolbachia-mediated inhibition of arboviruses in mosquitoes: progress and challenges. Journal of General Virology 95(3), 517530.
Reiter, P. & Sprenger, D. (1987) The used tire trade: a mechanism for the worldwide dispersal of container breeding mosquitoes. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 3(3), 494501.
Timmermann, S.E. & Briegel, H. (1999) Larval growth and biosynthesis of reserves in mosquitoes. Journal of Insect Physiology 45(5), 461470.
Townson, H., Nathan, M.B., Zaim, M., Guillet, P., Manga, L., Bos, R. & Kindhauser, M. (2005) Exploiting the potential of vector control for disease prevention. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 83(12), 942947.
Wong, P.S. J., Li, M.Z.I., Chong, C.S., Ng, L.C. & Tan, C.H. (2013) Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse): a potential vector of Zika virus in Singapore. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 7(8), e2348.
Yoshioka, M., Couret, J., Kim, F., McMillan, J., Burkot, T.R., Dotson, E.M., Kitron, U. & Vazquez-Prokopec, G.M. (2012) Diet and density dependent competition affect larval performance and oviposition site selection in the mosquito species Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasites & vectors 5(1), 225.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed