During sexual reproduction, alternating generations are produced in individual organisms. However, some insects reproduce asexually. Mosquitoes are one of the many insect species that reproduce asexually. During asexual reproduction, a female mosquito maintains a sperm in a permanent storage organ. This is called capacitation.
Male mosquitoes begin mating after a few days of development. They are equipped with pincer-like structures on their abdomen called claspers. They also have a trumpet that they use to grab a female mosquito.
After mating, Aedes aegypti sperm enter the spermathecae within thirty seconds. The sperm travel up a 1.2-3.5 mm wide duct. The sperm are stored in the spermathecae for the rest of the female’s life.
While sperm morphology has been studied in other flies, such as Drosophila melanogaster, the biology of mosquito sperm has not been well investigated. The sperm are about one-eighth the length of Drosophila melanogaster sperm. The biology of mosquito sperm has not been studied extensively in the lab, which may hinder further progress in the study of sperm biology in insects.
While there have been some studies of the biology of mosquito sperm, they have largely been conducted in Aegypti. The Aegypti has been studied extensively in the lab.
Male Aegypti mosquitoes produce a protein called HP-I. HP-I is transferred to the female during sex. The protein lasts two hours. The protein is also used to prevent the female from mating.
Some species also contain odorant receptors. The Asian Tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is one of these species. The jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis also contains odorant receptors.