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Title: MARKING INSECTS FOR STUDYING ECOLOGY AND ETHOLOGY

Author
item SHOWLER, ALLAN

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Entomology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2002
Publication Date: 4/30/2004
Citation: Showler, A.T. 2004. Marking insects for studying ecology and ethology. In: Capinera, J.L., editor. Encyclopedia of Entomology Volume 2. 1st edition. Hingham, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 19-24.

Interpretive Summary: There are various ways of marking insects so that their populations and behaviors can be studied in the laboratory and the environment. Methods include visual markers, rubidium, radiotracers, rare earth elements, carbohydrate profiling, and immunoglobulin markers. Examples of each are provided, as well as various modes of application and detection.

Technical Abstract: Different kinds of markers can be used for studying insect ecology and behavior, and each have special strengths, weaknesses, and applications. Various kinds of markers are described, including visual tags (e.g., paint, wires, dyes, pollen, and spores), rubidium, radiotracers, rare earth elements, carbohydrate profiling, and immunoglobulin. Marker delivery systems (e.g., manual, ingested, trans-life stage), advantages and disadvantages, detection techniques are discussed. Examples of how the various markers have been used in insect ecology and ethology are given, including studies on feeding, dispersal, trophic webs, and reproduction.