Validation of a New Larval Rearing Unit for Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Mass Rearing

CAA Centro Agricoltura Ambiente > Scientific Papers > Entomologia e Zoologia Sanitarie > Validation of a New Larval Rearing Unit for Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Mass Rearing

Balestrino F, Puggioli A, Gilles JRL, Bellini R

PLoS ONE 9(3): e91914. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091914

The mosquito larval rearing unit developed at the Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) of the FAO/IAEA Joint Division was evaluated for its potential use for Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) mass rearing in support of the development of a sterile insect technique (SIT) package for this species. The use of the mass rearing trays and rack did not adversely affect larval development, pupation and survival rates and allowed the management of large larval rearing colonies with reduced space requirements in comparison with classical individual trays. The effects of larval density, water temperature and diet composition on pupal production and size differentiation for sex separation efficacy were analyzed for individual mass rearing trays as well as multiple trays stacked within the dedicated rack unit. Best results were obtained using eighteen thousand larvae per tray at a density of 3 larvae per ml of deionized water at a temperature of 28uC on a diet consisting of 50% tuna meal, 36% bovine liver powder, 14% brewer’s yeast and, as an additive, 0.2 gr of Vitamin Mix per 100 ml of diet solution. Pupae were harvested on the sixth day from larval introduction at L1 stage and males were separated out by the use of a 1400 mm sieve with 99.0% accuracy with a recovery rate of ca. 25% of the total available males. With the use of this larval rearing unit, an average production of 100,000 male pupae per week can be achieved in just 2 square meter of laboratory space. Compared to previous laboratory rearing method, the same pupal production and sex separation efficacy could only be achieved by use of ca. 200 plastic trays which required the space of two 5 square meter climatic-controlled rooms.