Fertility is a physiological process of great importance underlying the dynamics of mosquito populations. In transgenesis, it is a prerequisite for the production of subsequent generations and a crucial parameter for evaluating efficiency. Yet, ongoing success in mosquito vector transformation is being severely affected by low embryo survivability. In the prospect of overcoming this impediment, we investigated the darkening/hardening process of the chorion, the effects of some parameters required for transgenesis on hatch success, and erratic hatching in Aedes albopictus, a species that has not yet been targeted for transformation. The eggs from this species, when placed in a moistened environment while whitish, become dark and yet still remain soft approximately 2 h 10 min postoviposition. Those reared in a high moisture environment hatched at a high rate compared with their counterparts submitted to a drier environment. Submission of eggs to p-nitrophenyl-p′-guanidino-benzoate, a substance known to delay the darkening/delay process, resulted in a hatch rate lower than that from eggs soaked in distilled water, which suggests a negative impact on viability. Heat-shock treatment did not taint embryo viability. Overall, eggs displayed a tolerance to an hour of heat shock at 39°C but still hatched at a considerable rate after a 1 hr exposure to 42°C. Hatching was erratic, with a high rate of hatching on the initial flooding and lower rates of hatching on subsequent floodings, all of which resulted cumulatively in considerable hatch success. Our results should serve as a useful reference for the production of both transgenic and laboratory strains of floodwater Aedes mosquitoes.
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