The osmotic pressure of the haemolymph in well-fed larvae of Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens is equivalent to 0.80-0.89% NaCl. During starvation it falls to 0.70% NaCl.
The average chloride content of the haemolymph is equivalent to 0.30% NaCl in Aedes, 0.28% in Culex.
The non-chloride fraction can be regulated so that the total osmotic pressure remains relatively constant in spite of wide variations in chloride content.
The ability of mosquito larvae to take up chloride from dilute solutions (Koch, 1938) is confirmed. In a balanced salt medium both the chloride and osmotic pressure of the blood remain constant until the concentration of the medium reaches o.65-0.75% NaCl. Above this level a variable excess of chloride enters the larva and the total osmotic pressure rises so that it is always a little greater than that of the external medium. At high concentrations (above about 1.6%) the blood chloride rises excessively and all the larvae die.
Comparative experiments show that Aedes aegypti is more efficient than Culex pipiens in absorbing and retaining chloride in dilute media, and Culex is perhaps a little better at keeping chloride out in more concentrated media. This difference accords with the difference in their natural breeding places.
The anal papillae become greatly enlarged in media almost free from chloride (functional hypertrophy for chloride uptake (Koch, 1938)) and reduced in more concentrated media. The papillae of Culex are more labile in this respect, but the maximum development occurs in Aedes.
The ability of larvae to absorb and retain chloride in dilute media is much reduced if they have been reared in more concentrated media. But after transfer to dilute media they soon recover this ability in spite of the reduction in size of the anal papillae.
When the larva is deprived of oxygen, muscular activity causes a rise in the osmotic pressure of the blood from about 0.83 to 1.0 or 1.1% NaCl, and this change is associated with extraction of fluid from the tracheoles. But reasons are given for doubting that the level of fluid in the tracheoles is determined by a direct relation between capillarity and osmotic pressure of the blood.