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Effect of Food On Mosquito Growth

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Author: Megan, Grade 6

Abstract

In this experiment I was trying to find out if you gave different amounts of food to mosquito larvae would they grow faster or slower. I got mosquito eggs and I hatched them out into tanks adding pork liver powder and Brewer’s Yeast to the tanks to see if it would make a difference. I watched them for two to three weeks and watched how many adults were in each tank. Note: Mosquitoes have four stages to their lives: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult. I also found out that mosquitoes spend most of their time as larvae and pupae and that they are only adults to reproduce. Note: Adults only suck blood when they reproduce. The female has to have blood to reproduce so the male doesn’t suck blood. When the experiment was over there were various results in the different tanks. Note: Male mosquitoes are usually the first to hatch out and the females hatch out later. The main thing I found was that the more food there was in each tank the faster and bigger in appearance they grew.

Problem

What is the effect of food on Mosquito growth?

Introduction: I conducted an experiment to see how the amount of food affected the rate of growth of a mosquito. I got mosquitoes and grew them with different amounts of food.

Hypothesis

My theory is the more food that is put in the water for the mosquitoes the faster they will grow. I think this because I talked to Dr. Robin Todd, a mosquito researcher, and he said they would respond to more food which means the more food they have, the faster they might grow.

Materials

Small sized tank Large sized tanks (Plastic shoe boxes) Well water Gallon of distilled water Measuring cup Yellow Fever mosquito eggs (Aedes aegypti) Vitamin C tablets Gram scale Dried pork liver powder Brewer’s Yeast 2 eye droppers Tape Marker Ruler Bug Netting

Procedure

  1. I got the mosquito eggs from a business in Baltimore at Insect Control and Research.
  2. That night I hatched out the mosquitoes by: taking a small sized tank and putting well water in it (890 mls). I started my experiment on 10/18/02.
  3. Then I put ½ a Vitamin C tablet in the water so all the oxygen would be out of the water so the eggs would hatch.
  4. Then I cut off a little strip of the mosquito eggs off and put them in the water. There were about 500 eggs on the strip that I cut off. Note: It takes about half an hour for the eggs to hatch. Note: The eggs are the first stage in the mosquitoes’ life.
  5. When they hatched I put them in the living room and I waited a day to start so they could get some nutrients in them so they could grow some.
  6. The next day I put the mosquito larvae into the new tanks. Note: Mosquito larvae are the second stage in the mosquitoes’ life. Another name for larvae is wiggler because they wiggle around in the water. In my first experiment I measured the mosquito larvae and watched how fast they grew. I did not take any data from measuring them because I saw that I didn’t have enough data because they did not stay in the larvae stage for very long.
  7. Then I filled the large sized tanks (or plastic shoe boxes) with 3 well water and 1distilled water tanks. Each held 1,750 ml of water in each tank. The temperature of the water was 21 degrees Celsius. The room was the same temperature.
  8. Then I started to count the number of mosquito larvae for each tank. There were 50 in each tank. I did this by pulling them out of the little tank with an eye dropper. Then I would put them into the water as I counted them.
  9. There are 4 tanks. Food 1x, Food 2x, Distilled Water and No Food. (1x means the stationary amount of food.) 2x means twice as much food as the 1x. No food means I didn’t put any pork liver in. Distilled means it was distilled water.)
  10. I took them into our living room and put them by the window sill because mosquitoes are used to partially light and partially shade to live in. Then I added food to the tank. I did this by measuring the food out on a gram scale. I measured the pork liver powder first, then I measure the Brewer’s Yeast second. The Brewer’s Yeast weighed 0.2 grams. I used these food types because Dr. Robin Todd recommended these food types. (He’s a mosquito specialist.)
  11. I added the food into the tanks but I didn’t put the pork liver powder in the no off. I made sure I put Brewer’s Yeast in all of them. The Brewer’s Yeast would give them energy. But the pork liver powder gave them protein to help them grow faster.
  12. I observed them for 2 weeks writing down the number of adults I saw in each tank. This was kind of difficult because the mosquitoes were consistently flying around in the tanks. Note: Adult mosquitoes can live on top of water and they reproduce there. They go elsewhere to find nectar from plants. But they need blood to reproduce. Once we saw pupae we put the lids to the tanks on. Pupae are the third stage in the mosquito life cycle. Another name for pupae is tumbler because they tumble around in the water as they swim.)
  13. On 11/9/02 I stopped my experiment.
  14. I made a chart of all the adults I saw on each date and which tank they were in. Note: Male mosquitoes hatch out first. Also male mosquitoes do not suck blood and they are not the ones to reproduce.
  15. I duplicated the experiment on 11/9/02. The temperature in our living room was 2 degrees warmer (23 degrees Celsius) than it was when we did our first experiment. Note: This might have been a variable because they grew much faster and it took less time for them to grow than the other mosquitoes in the first experiment.
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