Mosquito mating behaviour


  • W. Takken
  • C. Costantini
  • G. Dolo
  • A. Hassanali
  • N. Sagnon
  • E. Osir


Mating is one aspect of behaviour that has been much ignored in mosquito biology. Yet, the success of a transgenic release strategy depends on normal, competitive mating between introduced and wild individuals. An overview is presented of current knowledge of mating behaviour in Culicidae, including timing of mating, means of sperm transfer, refractory behaviour and multiple mating. Most lacunae were found in mate finding: it is known that some species use swarming while other mate on or near the vertebrate host. At short range males locate females by acoustic signals, but there is no knowledge how the sexes locate each other from a distance. It is argued that mass rearing of mosquitoes for sterile-insect release or transgenic release should include steps to safeguard male fitness. A series of challenges for future studies are discussed, including cues that control swarming behaviour, mate-finding behaviour and identification of genes that control mating behaviour