Automated feeding systems for larval tray and rack systems

Larval rearing and feeding station for mosquitos, automated feeding station, tray and rack rearing station
Tray and rack rearing and feeding station for larvae

VSI automatic insect feeding - The requirement for efficient mosquito mass rearing technology has been one of the major obstacles preventing the large scale application of the Sterile Insect Technique against mosquitoes. At the FAO/ IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratories a larval rearing unit (tray and rack system) was developed and tested (see literature below) and is expected to be able to successfully rear hundred thousands of Anopheles arabiensis adult mosquitoes per rack. However, while the amount of labor to operate the rack is relatively low, daily application of the feeding solutions to larvae still requires considerable time.

In order to make the rearing process more cost-efficient, and feed addition more controllable, Vienna Scientific Instruments developed an automated feeding station for the established tray and rack system.

The larvae feeder for mass rearing racks consist of three subsystems: i) regulating up and down motion for the exact fit of the nozzle system, which inject the feed mixture, including a automated measuring system to adjust the position between trays, ii) fully automated injection system, driven by microstep motors, with an automated retracting and extending system, and iii) agitator for the feed mixture, with an abstract volume of 50 litres and the pumping system for the injection. 

While the feeding process per rack is fully automated, the feeding station can be easily moved and positioned in front of another rack of the same dimension to continue the feeding process.

We are currently developing a novel tray and rack system with integrated feeding system to optimize costs and usability. Please contact us if you require more information. or if you are looking for a technical solution for your specific mass rearing facility. 

Automated Larval feeding station

Selected readings on mosquito mass rearing and feeding

  • Balestrino, F., M. Q. Benedict, and J. R. L. Gilles. 2012. A New Larval Tray and Rack System for Improved Mosquito Mass Rearing. Journal of Medical Entomology 49:595-605.
  • Balestrino, F., A. Puggioli, J. R. L. Gilles, and R. Bellini. 2014. Validation of a New Larval Rearing Unit for Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Mass Rearing. PLoS ONE 9:e91914.
  • Benedict, M. Q., B. G. Knols, H. C. Bossin, P. I. Howell, E. Mialhe, C. Caceres, and A. S. Robinson. 2009. Colonisation and mass rearing: learning from others. Malaria journal 8:1.
  • Feldmann, A., W. Brouwer, J. Meeussen, and J. O. Voshaar. 1989. Rearing of larvae of Anopheles stephensi, using water replacement, purification and automated feeding. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 52:57-68.
  • Williges, E., A. Farajollahi, J. J. Scott, L. J. Mccuiston, W. J. Crans, and R. Gaugler. 2008. Laboratory colonization of Aedes japonicus japonicus. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 24:591-593.