Lipid reserves of bait-caught female Ae.cantans and Ae.punctor mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) were significantly higher than in teneral females. Female Ae.cantans given access to 10% w/v sucrose solution post-emergence showed an ability to synthesize lipid and, after 192 h, they were willing to take a bloodmeal from a human volunteer. At this point, mean lipid reserves were not significantly different from mean lipid reserves of bait-caught females. Prior to 192h, females would not take a bloodmeal and lipid reserves were significantly lower than in bait-caught females. Female Ae.punctor given access to 10% w/v sucrose solution post-emergence also showed an ability to synthesize lipid. Females of this species were willing to feed from a human host after only 48 h, at which point lipid content was not significantly different from that in bait-caught females. The level of lipid reserves in females coming to bait differs significantly between species: Ae.cantans has lipid reserves approximately double those of Ae.punctor. In addition, Ae.punctor is able to synthesize lipid to a level comparable with that found in bait-caught females after only 24 h, whilst it takes 192 h for Ae.cantans females to synthesize the amount of lipid found in host-seeking females, when allowed free access to sugar. Physiological differences in lipid synthesis and the level of lipid reserves required may therefore explain the differences observed between the species in the time taken to initiate host seeking.