SURVEILLANCE AND ECOLOGY OF MOSQUITO, BITING AND FILTH BREEDING INSECTS
Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: LABORATORY EVALUATION OF A DYED FOOD MARKING TECHNIQUE FOR CULEX QUINQUEFASCIATUS (DIPTERA: CULICIDAE)
Submitted to: American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Welch, C.H., Kline, D.L., Allan, S.A., Barnard, D.R. 2006. Laboratory evaluation of a dyed food marking technique for culex quinquefasciatus (diptera: culicidae). American Mosquito Control Association. 22(4):626-628.
Interpretive Summary: With the recent introduction and subsequent spread of West Nile virus across the United States, Culex mosquitoes have become the focus of many field studies on ecology, control and disease transmission. Critical to these studies is a better understanding of the distance that mosquitoes disperse from the emergence sites. Essential to studies on dispersal of mosquitoes in the field, are methods for marking mosquitoes so that they can be tracked as they disperse. In this study conducted at the USDA, ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville (Florida), methods for marking mosquitoes and the impact of the markings on survival of the mosquitoes were evaluated. A combination of three dyes was highly effective with visible markings for up to 15 days. These methods can form the basis for detailed studies on mosquito trapping efficacy, efficacy of control efforts and epidemiology of West Nile virus.
A method of marking adult Cx. quinquefasciatus by feeding the larvae commercial hog chow dyed with methylene blue, Giemsa, and crystal violet was evaluated under laboratory conditions. Of 243 mosquitoes fed the dyed food, 230 had visible marks (94.6 %). The dyed food did increase the development time of the mosquitoes to the adult stage from 11.38 d to 12.10 d. The mark remained visible on some individuals for up to 15 d, their maximum laboratory life. After nine days 82.5% of mosquitoes observed exhibited visible marks.