To track Aedes aegypti (L.) egg-laying behavior in the field in Iquitos, Peru, we developed methods for 1) sampling DNA from live mosquitoes and 2) high through-put parentage analysis using microsatellite markers. We were able to amplify DNA extracted from a single hind leg, but not from the pupal exuvia. Removal of a leg from teneral females caused no significant changes in female behavioral or life history traits (e.g., longevity, blood feeding frequency, fecundity, egg hatch rate, gonotrophic cycle length, or oviposition behavior). Using a panel of nine microsatellite markers and an exclusion-based software program, we matched offspring to parental pairs in 10 Ae. aegypti test families in which parents originated from natural development sites in Iquitos. By mating known individuals in the laboratory, retaining the male, sampling the female's DNA before release, and collecting offspring in the field, the technique we developed can be used to genotype large numbers of Ae. aegypti, reconstruct family relationships, and track the egg-laying behavior of individual Ae. aegypti in nature.
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Vol. 49 • No. 1