Understanding mosquito mating biology is essential for studies of mosquito behavior, gene flow, population structure, and genetic control. In the current study, we examine the effect of age and body size on spermatozoa number in two laboratory strains of the dengue vector, Aedes aegypti (L.), Thailand and Rockefeller (ROCK), and in wild-collected mosquitoes from Thailand. Body size was a major predictor of total spermatozoa number, with significantly greater sperm numbers in large (2.27-mm wing length) versus small males (1.85-mm wing length) within the same age group. Total sperm capacity also varied by male age. Spermatozoa numbers in virgin Ae. aegypti males increased significantly up to 10 d after emergence and then leveled off until 20 d. Significant variations in sperm number were detected among Ae. aegypti strains, with wild-collected mosquitoes having the greatest total number of sperm. Our study provides the first evidence of spermatogenesis in adult mosquitoes and indicates high rates of spermatogenesis in male mosquitoes up to 10 d of age (3.3 degree-days). Our results emphasize the potential role of body size and age on the mating capacity of this important vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses.
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