Due to ethical issues associated with the use of blood for mosquito laboratory experiments, an artificial diet that supports the production of eggs and larvae is highly desirable. We report the development of an artificial diet using direct feeding on protein-rich sugar solution (PRSS) as an alternative to whole blood and evaluated its effects on several biologic parameters of Anopheles darlingi (Root). Field-collected females were fed with different PRSSs containing bovine serum albumin (BSA) at 200 and 400 mg/ml with or without supplemental salts. Engorged mosquitoes were monitored for survival to oviposition, before being forced to oviposit. The proportion ovipositing, number of eggs, and number of larvae were recorded for each treatment. Mosquitoes promptly engorged on PRSSs. The mean proportion of mosquitoes fed with PRSS that survived to oviposition did not differ statistically from that of blood-fed ones. The oviposition proportion of females fed with PRSS at 200 mg/ml was similar to that of blood-fed mosquitoes, whereas mean egg production was lower for most PRSS-fed females, except for those fed with BSA at 400 mg/ml. However, the mean larval production of PRSS-fed mosquitoes was significantly lower than that of blood-fed females. Although feeding An. darlingi on simple PRSS triggered oogenesis and embryogenesis, our results highlight the need for additional nutrients to increase the number of larvae to improve overall reproduction potential.
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Vol. 57 • No. 3