Blood sources used for insect colonies and their effects on fecundity and fertility have been studied in multiple mosquito species, but the effect of anticoagulants that prevent clotting of blood has received minimal attention. Here, we identify the effect two anticoagulants have on the mortality, fecundity, and fertility of Culex quinquefasciatus (Sebring and BCS strains) and Aedes aegypti Liverpool. Each mosquito species was provided with one of three treatments: direct feeding on live chicken (LC), blood from freshly exsanguinated chicken treated with heparin (EXS) or commercially purchased chicken blood treated with Alsever's solution (ART). No significant effect of treatment on mortality was observed. Both Cx. quinquefasciatus Sebring and BCS strains demonstrated a significant effect of treatment type on fecundity with the number of eggs laid for LC being 1.40-fold higher than EXS and 2.14-fold higher than ART for Sebring. For BCS strain mosquitoes, LC was 1.55-fold higher than ART, and EXS was 1.57-fold higher than ART, but there was no significant difference between LC and EXS. For Ae. aegypti mosquitoes, only a significant difference in mean egg counts was observed between LC and ART treatments, with LC laying 1.46-fold more eggs. No significant effect on fertility was observed among any mosquitoes for any treatment. These results demonstrate the negative effect of anticoagulants on the fecundity for multiple mosquito taxa. This may affect the ability of labs to produce large numbers of mosquitoes or colonize wild mosquito populations and should be taken into account when considering colony maintenance or vector biology research.
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Vol. 46 • No. 2