Food utilization by the larvae of Toxorhynchites splendens
(Wiedemann) was studied in the laboratory by offering larvae of Aedes aegypti
Linnaeus, Anopheles stephensi
(Liston), and Culex quinquefasciatus
(Say). Quantitative analyses of data indicated that immature development was significantly faster with increase in food availability. The regression analysis showed that the degrees of the relationship between immature duration (Id) and food availability were higher when offered early instars of prey (first and second instars) than late instars. Consumption rate (Cr) of the predator increased with increase in food availability and this relationship was highly significant when larvae of An. stephensi
were offered as food. Consumption rate to food level decreased with increase in the age class of the prey. There was a significant negative correlation between Id and Cr. This aspect helps to increase population turnover of T. splendens
in a shorter period when the prey is abundant. Conversely, the predator compensated the loss in daily food intake at low food level by extending Id thereby attains the minimum threshold pupal weight for adult emergence. There was an increase in the relative growth rate (RGR) of the predator when An. stephensi
was offered as prey and this was related to the high protein content of the prey per body weight. There was a positive correlation between Cr and RGR. This adaptive life characteristic strategy of this predator is useful for mass-rearing for large scale field release programmes in the control of container breeding mosquitoes is discussed.