The cuticular hydrocarbons of female Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto and Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquitoes were analyzed before and after they mated. In An. gambiae, the proportions of the two cuticular hydrocarbon components, n-heneicosane and n-tricosane, were significantly reduced as the female aged and after it mated. There were no changes in the hydrocarbon composition of males after they mated. Hydrocarbon extracts from mated and unmated An. gambiae females as well as those from males caused a reduction in the rates of female insemination when they were applied to unmated females. Female Ae. aegypti showed significant changes in the proportions of n-heptadecane, n-pentacosane and n-hexacosane in their cuticles after mating. These data suggest that cuticular hydrocarbons may play some role in chemical communication during mosquito courtship.
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