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.
Subterranean termite colonies can be as large as 1 million individuals with a foraging territory and underground galleries stretching up to 100 meters long. How does an entomologist study something that large? Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how researchers at the University of Florida have raised entire termite colonies from scratch and devised experimental setups that mimic large foraging and nesting areas while still fitting inside a lab.