Determining Temperature Preference of Mosquitoes and Other Ectotherms

Haziqah-Rashid, Amirah, Stobierska, Kinga, Glenn, Lorna, Metelmann, Soeren, Sherlock, Ken, Chrostek, Ewa and Blagrove, Marcus SC ORCID: 0000-0002-7510-167X
(2022) Determining Temperature Preference of Mosquitoes and Other Ectotherms. JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, 2022 (187).

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Most insects and other ectotherms have a relatively narrow optimal temperature window, and deviation from their optima can have significant effects on their fitness, as well as other characteristics. Consequently, many such ectotherms seek out their optimal temperature range. Although temperature preferences of mosquitoes and other insects have been well studied, the traditional experimental setup is performed using a temperature gradient on an aluminum surface in a highly enclosed space. In some cases, this equipment restricts many natural behaviors, such as flying, which may be important in preference selection. The objective of this study is to observe insect preference for air temperature by using a two-chamber apparatus with sufficient room for flight. The two chambers consist of independent temperature-controlled incubators, each with a large aperture. The incubators are connected by these apertures using a short acrylic bridge. Inside the incubators are two netted cages, linked via the apertures and bridge, allowing the insects to freely fly between the different conditions. The acrylic bridge also acts as a temperature gradient between the two incubators. Due to the spacious area in the cage and easy construction, this method can be used to study any small ectotherm and/or any manipulation which may alter temperature preference including sensory organ manipulation, diet, gut flora, and endosymbiont presence at biosafety levels 1 or 2 (BSL 1 or 2). Additionally, the apparatus can be used for the study of pathogen infection using further containment (e.g., inside of a biosafety cabinet) at BSL 3.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Culicidae, Aluminum, Incubators, Temperature, Insecta
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 14:48
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 09:48
DOI: 10.3791/64356
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