Zea mays pollen for the optimization of colony rearing of Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes under laboratory conditions  

Jared Owiti Yugi1 , Horace Ochanda2 , Wolfgang Richard Mukabana2
1. Department of Applied Sciences, Kisumu Polytechnic, P. O. Box 143-40100, Kisumu, Kenya
2. School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Mosquito Research, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/jmr.2015.05.0003
Received: 10 Dec., 2014    Accepted: 23 Feb., 2015    Published: 05 Mar., 2015
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background & objectives: Supplements that make food source attractive are crucial as they enhance consumption and optimize on nutrient acquisition from the said foodstuff. In this study we evaluate phagostimulatory effect of Zea mays pollen when given alone or together with larval diets to Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae)mosquitoes under laboratory conditions. Methods: Crushed silver cyprinid fish, Rastrineobola argentea and Tetramin® baby fish food were given together with or without Zea mays pollen or doxycycline to An. arabiensis mosquito larvae and their effect as diet sources compared. The effects were determined against larval development time and fecundity, size and longevity of emerged adult female mosquitoes. Results: Larvae provided with maize pollen alone emerged to adults that lived for 10 days compared to 12 days for Tetramin®baby fish food and 13 day for crushed silver cyprinid fish. The differences in longevity however did not differ significantly (p < 0.05). Maize pollen in combination with either crushed silver cyprinid fish or TetraMin® baby fish food resulted in rapid pupation. Adults emerging from maize pollen treatments though smaller in size (2.8 mm) compared to those given crushed silver cyprinid fish (3.2 mm) or Tetramin®baby fish food (3.4 mm) lived for 10 days. Maize pollen significantly influenced time to pupation (p < 0.01), mosquito size (p < 0.001) but not adult longevity (p < 0.098).Conclusion: This study demonstrated that maize pollen enhances consumption of larval diets resulting in larger long lived female mosquitoes. Maize pollen is therefore a phagostimulant and should be harvested and incorporated in the rearing of quality mosquitoes for experimental use.

Zea mays pollen; An. arabiensis; Fecundity; Longevity; Phagostimulation
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