VSI Mosquito Larvae Trays. Standardised larval rearing units for insect production are essential for the establishment of mass-rearing facilities. We offer water-filled mosquito mass rearing trays according to the specifications by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (FAO/IAEA-IPCL; see Balestrino et al., 2012). The trays are compatible with the VSI Tray and Rack systems / Mosquito mass rearing module; those hold 30 mass rearing trays each. The trays are optimized to work with the automatic larval feeding system.
The mosquito mass-rearing tray is designed to provide a large surface area of shallow water - closely mimicking natural breeding sites and allowing for the larval diet to be easily accessible.
According to research, the tray is applicable for rearing larvae of several mosquito species. For Aedes albopictus, for example, the optimal larval rearing density in the trays is about 18,000 larvae (3.6 larvae/cm2 inner surface). At thirty-four hours after the first pupation, the average male pupae production was found to be ca. 3.16 × 105; no impact on male mating competitiveness to wild type females was found and the tray was recommended to be used in mosquito mass rearing facilities (see Zhang et al., 2017 for details). Regarding Anopheles sp., each trays can hold about 4,000 larvae (Mamai et al., 2018). The use of the trays for rearing other insect species requiring similar environmental conditions for pupation is likely but can also be adjusted on request.
Two ridges create an overflow system and increase the surface area/resting area for the larvae. The underside of the tray ridges hold two plastic (PMMA) plates (see image) that deflect the overflowing water - preventing water from falling straight down into the trays below. Specifications based on Balestrino et al. (2012) & technical requirements of IAEA/FAO Insect Unit (Seibersdorf, AT).
Larval mass rearing trays are designed to provide the optimum conditions for larval growth as specific for each species, while in the best case allowing efficient and easy handling of the larvae in great numbers. Whilst there are large differences between insect species in terms of optimal rearing conditions, here some key characteristics of larval mass rearing trays can be defined:
Overall, a very large diversity of larval mass rearing trays sizes, shapes and forms exist. However, trays are an essential tools for efficient and effective mass rearing of insects and their design should be tailored to the specific needs of the insect species and the intended application. Vienna Scientific is happy to support this process and help you realize optimized trays for the insect species of choice.