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Observations on Pool and Capillary Feeding in Aedes aegypti (L.)


Gordon and Lumsden1, in a classical paper, first directed attention to the fact that mosquitoes take up blood either directly from a capillary or from a pool formed in the tissues by the leakage of blood from a capillary previously lacerated by the mosquito's proboscis. The former method was termed ‘capillary feeding’ and the latter ‘pool feeding’. It was also noted that, when a mosquito fed from a capillary, engorgement took about three minutes as compared with as long as ten minutes when the blood was taken by pool feeding. Attention was also directed to the significance of the two methods of feeding in relation to the taking up and deposition of pathogens by mosquitoes. These experiments were performed on the frog's web, using Aedes aegypti (L.), and were criticized2 on the grounds that the mechanism of feeding might be very different in mammalian tissues. Recently, Griffiths and Gordon3 developed a new technique for making observations on mosquitoes while they fed on the mouse's ear. Using this technique it was possible to show, by direct observation on living mammalian tissue, that no essential difference existed between the method used by mosquitoes while feeding on batrachian and mammalian tissues.

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  1. Gordon, R. M., and Lumsden, W. H. R., Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit., 33, 259 (1939).

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  2. Lesson, H. S., and Buxton, P. A., Chapter 2 in “Malariology”, edit. M. F. Boyd, 1, 235 (Philadelphia and London, Saunders, 1949).

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  3. Griffiths, R. B., and Gordon, R. M., Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit., 46, 311 (1952).

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  4. O'Rourke, F. J., and Murnaghan, M. F., J. Allergy, 24, 120 (1953).

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O'ROURKE, F. Observations on Pool and Capillary Feeding in Aedes aegypti (L.). Nature 177, 1087–1088 (1956).

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