An entomologist at Binghamton University kept a group of African soft ticks alive in a lab for 27 years—and their offspring are still going at age 26.
In search of a simple, cost-effective way to maintain laboratory mosquito colonies, biologists at a mosquito control district in Florida have turned to food-grade frozen animal blood found at specialty grocery stores. They share the success of their new method for other cash-strapped mosquito-management operations in the open-access Journal of Insect Science.
The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the "mosquito assassin" could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.