In mosquitoes, in addition to larval and adult peritrophic membranes (PMs), a PM (meconial peritrophic membrane or MPM1) forms in the pupa around the meconium, the sloughed, degenerating larval midgut epithelium. Often, a second membrane (MPM2) forms in temporal proximity to adult emergence. Differences in the occurrence, persistence, and timing of disappearance of the meconium/MPMs and gas were studied by dissecting the midgut contents from pupae of known ages postpupation and from adults of known ages postemergence. MPM1 was found in all Anopheles and Culex studied and nearly all Culiseta. The occurrence of MPM1 varied in the Aedes species. In one series of Aedes aegypti (L.) dissections, no fully formed MPM2 was found in any specimens. The occurrence of MPM2 appeared to be associated with adult emergence and varied among and within the seven species studied. It typically was seen in recently emerged adults but was observed occasionally in old pupae. Much of our data supports the idea that MPM2 formation is stimulated by midgut epithelium distention.
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Vol. 37 • No. 6