Mosquitoes that do not oviposit their entire batch of eggs in one location, but choose instead to oviposit a few eggs in several different sites exhibit skip oviposition. Although skip oviposition may ensure the greater distribution of progeny from an individual female and reduce sibling competition, it also uses greater maternal energy reserves, may increase the risk of adult female mortality and does not reduce other competition. To test the hypothesis that female Aedes aegypti (L.) do not oviposit all of their eggs at one time and place, we examined females collected with an aspirator resting inside houses in Thailand. Females (n = 384) were dissected and the stage and number of developing oocytes were enumerated. If skip oviposition is a common behavior among female Ae. aegypti, one would expect to find significantly fewer mature eggs (Christophers’ stage V) in gravid females than developing oocytes in half-gravid females (Christophers’ stage IIIa–IVb). No significant differences were found between ovaries containing immature or mature ooctyes, even when the data were stratified by female body size and when immature ooctyes that potentially could undergo resorption (Christophers’ stages IIIa–IIIb) were excluded from the analysis. We found no evidence that skip oviposition over several days is a common behavior among domestic populations of Ae. aegypti at the end of the rainy season in this region of Thailand.
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Vol. 38 • No. 5