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Effect of Host Defenses on the Feeding Pattern of Culex nigripalpus When Offered a Choice of Blood Sources

John D. Edman, Lawrence A. Webber and Amelia A. Schmid
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 60, No. 5 (Oct., 1974), pp. 874-883
DOI: 10.2307/3278923
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3278923
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effect of Host Defenses on the Feeding Pattern of Culex nigripalpus When Offered a Choice of Blood Sources
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Abstract

Host defensive behavior was examined in several avian and mammalian species. Visual observations of host activity indicated that low mosquito feeding rates were caused by host defenses and not by a lack of attraction. Feeding rates were enhanced when this behavior was suppressed by immobilization. Several selection experiments were conducted in outdoor cages using paired combinations of different species which were situated in close horizontal proximity to each other (3 to 5 ft). Similar feeding rates were obtained when both hosts were immobilized. When only one host was restrained the feeding ratio always shifted in favor of the immobilized host. This shift was greatest when the free host was very defensive. If neither host was restrained, mosquitoes always fed to a lesser extent on the more defensive host. No evidence of any active diversion from defensive to tolerant hosts was observed in tests where hosts were vertically separated 8 ft apart. When mosquito densities were gradually increased, there was a corresponding increase in the proportion of the engorged feeding on the tolerant host. But at the same time there was a decrease in the overall engorgement rate. The engorgement rates remained relatively stable on the tolerant host but decreased on defensive hosts.

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