Recognition of Nulliparous Mosquitoes without Dissection


DURING the age-grading of female mosquitoes it frequently happens that a large proportion of the dissecting time is devoted to the recognition of those that are nulliparous, when it is usually only the parous ones which require detailed examination. Such a difficulty is encountered to a marked degree in large samples of forest mosquitoes in Uganda, of which more than 95 per cent may be nulliparous. It is therefore desirable to establish means whereby as many nullipars as possible can be recognized without dissection. The use of two external characters for age-grading mosquitoes has been suggested previously1,2, but only recently have techniques become available3 whereby their reliability can be adequately checked. The work reported here was undertaken to determine whether these and two other external characters could be used with confidence to distinguish nullipars of certain African mosquitoes. The condition of each mosquito was checked by dissection of the ovaries4. Results show that in certain species the use of these characters can enable up to 90 per cent of nullipars to be recognized, thereby effecting a great economy in the age-grading of samples.

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    Perry, R. L., Paludism, 5, 32 (1912).

  2. 2

    Gillett, J. D., Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit., 51, 151 (1957).

  3. 3

    Detinova, T. S., WHO Course in Advanced Entomological Techniques (London, 1959) (Roneotyped).

  4. 4

    Corbet, P. S., Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg., 53, 297 (1959).

  5. 5

    Wharton, R. H., Nature, 184, 830 (1959).

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CORBET, P. Recognition of Nulliparous Mosquitoes without Dissection. Nature 187, 525–526 (1960).

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