Blood digestion was studied in strains of Anopheles stephensi which had been genetically selected for either refractoriness or susceptibility to infection by Plasmodium falciparum. Females of the refractory Pb3-9a strain ingested more blood than selected (Sda-500) and unselected (Punjab) susceptible females and began to degrade the haemoglobin soon after feeding. In susceptible females, haemoglobin degradation started only after a significant post-feeding lag period. Total protein content of the midgut after the bloodmeal was correspondingly higher for refractory than for susceptible females, but absolute and relative rates of protein degradation were not significantly different between the different mosquito strains. Bloodmeal induction of midgut trypsin activity and the maximal trypsin activity were the same for the different strains. The residual aminopeptidase activity and its relative post-feeding activity (enzyme units per midgut) were significantly higher in refractory females. However, when converting to specific aminopeptidase activity, no differences between strains were evident. The results indicate that both the early initiation of haemoglobin degradation and higher aminopeptidase activity in the Pb3-9a refractory strain are important in the limitation of parasite development within the mosquito midgut, whereas trypsin plays no role in this process.