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Title: Age-Grading the Biting Midge Culicoides Sonorensis Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

item Reeves, Will
item Dowell, Floyd

Submitted to: Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2009
Publication Date: 2/12/2010
Citation: Reeves, W.K., Peiris, S., Scholte, E., Wirtz, R.A., Dowell, F.E. 2010. Age-grading the biting midge Culicoides sonorensis using near-infrared spectroscopy. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Vol 24: 32-37.

Interpretive Summary: We used near infrared spectroscopy to determine the ages of biting midges from three continuously maintained colonies. Female midges from five age groups were tested. The near infrared technology was useful in separating young biting midges from old midges. This technology does not damage the insects and could be used to separate younger flies from older insects that are more likely to be infected with arboviruses.

Technical Abstract: Age grading of insects is important in controlling and monitoring of both insect populations and vector-borne diseases. Microscopy and morphological techniques exist to age grade most blood feeding flies but these techniques are laborious, often destructive to the insects, and slow. Near-infrared spectroscopy can be automated and is a nondestructive technique for age grading. We applied near-infrared spectroscopic techniques to age grade females of the biting midge, Culicoides sonorensis, the vector of bluetongue and other arboviruses in North America. We used female flies of five known age cohorts 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 days post emergence from three laboratory colonies. Our data indicate that near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to differentiate age groups of C. sonorensis.