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Optimization of Aedes albopictus rearing procedures for combined sterile insect techniques (SIT) and Wolbachia-based laboratory studies in Sri Lanka


The establishment of a laboratory colony is an essential first step for conduction of laboratory studies on the biology and control of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Therefore, with the objective of generating high quality mosquitoes as research material for utilization in ongoing vector control studies and to disseminate authenticated, high-quality Ae. albopictus mosquito rearing information to the research community, maintenance of an Ae. albopictus mosquito colony was initiated at the Molecular Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. A self-mating colony was established from eggs of the F1 progeny of individuals collected as free-living larvae in Narahenpita (Western Province), Sri Lanka. The mean temperature of 28 °C (± 2 °C) and relative humidity of 80% (± 5%) was constantly maintained inside the insectary. Lighting was provided by fluorescent lights, regulated with 12:12 h continuous dark and light period. Pest insects were controlled manually. Mosquitoes were maintained on bovine blood provided via an artificial membrane feeding system and a continuous supply of 10% sugar supplements. Larvae were maintained in deoxygenate water and fed with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommended diet of tuna meal, bovine liver powder, and brewery yeast in a ratio of 37.5:27:10.5 in 1 L. Data on fecundity, fertility, larvae death, pupation, adult emergence, adult mosquito longevity were recorded. Adhering to bio-safety, all discarded materials were boiled thoroughly and incinerated if required. This report on the establishment and maintenance of a laboratory colony of Ae. albopictus will be of value for identifying the critical requirements essential under artificial conditions.

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Financial support received through NRC TO 14/04, IAEA RAS 5047 and WHO/TDR grant HQTDR1409931 (TIMS ID: B40098) are greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Y. I. N. Silva Gunawardene.

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Wijegunawardana, N.D.A.D., Gunawardene, Y.I.N.S., Abeyewickreme, W. et al. Optimization of Aedes albopictus rearing procedures for combined sterile insect techniques (SIT) and Wolbachia-based laboratory studies in Sri Lanka. Int J Trop Insect Sci 40, 801–807 (2020).

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  • Aedes albopictus
  • Laboratory colonization
  • Optimum rearing conditions