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Mosquito Compaction for Storage and Transport Experiment

Mosquito Compaction for Storage and Transport Experiment

Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the storage, transport, and delivery of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, males that have been sterilized—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population’s ability to reproduce or transmit disease to humans. But, getting those mosquitoes from the lab into the wild presents logistical challenges, such as how the mosquitoes should be packed for transport. A project led by researchers at New Mexico State University sought to answer how tightly male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes could be packed together, and their experiment used a simple plastic syringe to contain the mosquitoes to a precise volume. Here, mosquitoes are shown compressed down to 1 cubic centimeter. Surprisingly, the highest density the researchers tested—240 mosquitoes per cubic centimeter, or about 1,200 to a teaspoon—resulted in the highest survival rate in an overnight-shipping test. (Video credit: Julia Vulcan, New Mexico State University)

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