Surviving in a Bottle Cap

Mosquitoes are tougher than they look! The common saying is that a mosquito larva only needs a bottle cap’s worth of water to exist, and this is absolutely true in the wild. This is why controlling mosquito larvae is so hard: if you have a bottle cap sized puddle untreated, mosquitoes can breed!

That being said, it actually is quite hard to breed the mosquitoes we study the most: An. gembiae, who are often called the “spoiled brats” by our co-workers. It takes a lot of work and careful conditions to breed our insects, which is compounded by our goal to get a set of mosquitoes which are microsporidia positive. We need to take about 10-50% of the insects we rear to see if there are microsporidia! Because of these obstacles, our breeding program is very slow to start, however, we are working on how the transmission happens and soon we will probably have a good understanding of how to breed positive offspring efficiently.



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