An Improved Method for Long-Distance Shipping the Mosquito Parasite Romanomermis culicivorax

J. M. Cupello, J. J. Petersen, A. R. Chauthani


To prevent losses during long-distance shipment, a new delivery system was developed for the mosquito parasite Romanomermis culicivorax. A specially designed shipping container, two types of culture media (sand and a mixture of sand, vermiculite, and charcoal [SVC]), and two types of insert (polystyrene and polyester urethane foam [PUF]) were tested. Cultures shipped in SVC/PUF insert combination produced significantly higher yields of preparasites than did the other three combinations tested, and the sand/polystyrene combination produced significantly lower yields than did either sand or SVC media shipped with the PUF insert. Yields from cultures shipped in sand/PUF and SVC/PUF combinations were significantly lower than from unshipped controls. Maximum losses (52%) occurred in cultures shipped when 13-16-wk old. Also, yields of preparasites were significantly lower from cultures shipped singly when compared to similar cultures shipped in groups of eight. Techniques and procedures developed in this study did not completely solve the loss associated with delivery of R. culicivorax. For the first time, however, the system can guarantee the delivery of a quality product. The study defines the importance of the carrier medium, age of cultures, shipment size, and the restriction of the movement of the culture medium.

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