Culex theileri Theobald (Diptera: Culicidae) has a wide Afrotropical, southern Palaearctic, northern Oriental, and European distribution. It is mainly considered as a mammophilic mosquito and also feeds on birds and serves as a vector for various zoonotic diseases including West Nile virus. Despite its broad distribution and evidence indicating that Cx. theileri is a competent vector of human and domestic animal pathogens, basic biological and ecological features of this species have not been well investigated. We evaluated the impact of bloodmeal source (human, chicken, cow, and a double bloodmeal such as human and cow or chicken and cow and mixed bloodmeals [cow, chicken, and human] via artificial feeding) on fecundity, hatching rates, developmental times, and viability from egg to adult for laboratory colonized Cx. theileri. Fecundity in mosquitoes that took a chicken bloodmeal, a double bloodmeal and mixed bloodmeals was significantly higher than in females fed on a single cow or single human blood. This is the first study about the bloodmeal sources effect on laboratory-reared Cx. theileri populations and these findings contribute to our understanding of the impact of bloodmeal source on reproduction in Cx. theileri. As it is known that Cx. theileri is a vector for West Nile virus, the potential impacts of bloodmeal source on virus transmission are discussed.
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Vol. 51 • No. 6