Insect Rearing cages

Production cages for insects
Mass rearing cage for mosquitos

VSI insect rearing cages - Together with partners an advanced, space-efficient mass production cage (MPC) has been developed and is expected to be able to successfully rear hundred thousands of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles arabiensis adult mosquitoes in a final mass production set-up. The cage has been developed and designed to minimise handling and the opening of the cages during operations such as blood feeding and egg collection. The cage includes (i) an port for an external blood feeding system (from top), (ii) a self-levelling/refilling, built-in sugar feeding system (50µm mesh size), and (iii) an oviposition system located at the bottom of the cage. Males and females pupae can be added to the bottom of the cages and emerging adults have constant access to sugar solution and blood. Similar Anopheles MPC were previously described and tested for functionality by Balestrino et al. 2014 and Maima et al. 2017 (see references below). The cages have adjustable rubber feet for placement on the floor and can be hung from the ceiling or in a rack system inside a colony room-allowing for space and service efficient arrangement in large production facilities. Angle can be adjusted to facilitate drainage. A spraying nozzle system, easily connectable to a water hose, can be used to conveniently wash out eggs for collection. Mesh is properly sealed but still easily removable (velcro) to allow for larvae addition and to adjust mesh size to species. The sugar feeder system is quick release and dishwasher safe for easy maintenance.  The cage is demountable to ensure a small shipping volume but can be easily reassembled with a minimal numbers of screws (12 per cage); outer dimensions (assembled): 200 cm x 100 cm x 20 cm (l x h x w).  

Please contact us if you require specific information about the rearing cage or if you are looking for other technical solutions for your specific (mass) rearing facility.  We are happy to build cages for other insect species according to your specifications.

Rearing and Mass production cages, Examples

Selected readings on mosquito mass rearing

  • 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:S4.
  • Balestrino, F., A. Puggioli, R. Bellini, D. Petric, and J. Gilles. 2014. Mass production cage for Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 51.
  • IAEA 2015. Guidelines for standardised mass rearing for Anopheles mosquitoes. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
  • Mamai, W., N. S. Bimbile-Somda, H. Maiga, J. G. Juarez, Z. A. I. Muosa, A. B. Ali, R. S. Lees, and J. R. L. Gilles. 2017. Optimization of mosquito egg production under mass rearing setting: effects of cage volume, blood meal source and adult population density for the malaria vector, Anopheles arabiensis. Malaria journal 16:41.