Technology for automated real-time counting and identification of adult mosquitoe

Period of Performance: 08/15/2007 - 01/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aptiv, Inc.
Portland, OR 97201
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Arthropod vector control programs are dependent on timely information about mosquito activity, phenology and distribution that informs integrated pest management decision making. Vector control programs currently utilize trapping technology that targets adult host seeking behaviour (CO2, octenol, lactic acid etc. baited traps, with or without light) or adult oviposition behaviour (Culex gravid traps, Aedes ovitraps). These technologies require time consuming identification of adults or rearing of eggs for larval identification to species. This application will develop much needed automated vector identification and remote activity monitoring tools that deliver real-time species identification of flying mosquitoes. Our labor-saving automated mosquito monitoring system integrates electronic photo-sensors with computer-analysis software to quantify and classify wing-beat signatures. This amazingly sensitive and rapidly responding novel sensor detects minute changes in light intensity that wings and other moving body parts of nearby flying insects cause to incident light falling on a photocell. Insects are characterized on the basis of primary wing-beat frequency and ratios of harmonics. To date this equipment has been applied by the inventor, Dr. Aubrey Moore, only to the automated laboratory identification and quantification of a few aphids and mosquitoes, and by APTIV scientists to laboratory classification of several Aedes and Culex species as well as lepidopteran pests in agriculture. NSF have recently funded design and development of second generation instrumentation that upgrades this system. In consultation with the inventor and cooperation with Dr.s Charles Apperson (NCSU) and Eric Wan (OHSU-OGI), we will instrument conventional mosquito trapping systems with the second generation technology to deliver upgraded surveillance traps for real-time detection, reporting and unattended remote sensing of adult mosquitoes in flight. This application will couple novel automated vector identification and remote activity instrumentation to standard adult mosquito monitoring technology for mosquito vector control applications. Mosquitoes are very important vectors of several deadly viruses, as demonstrated by the rapid spread of West Nile Virus through North America via a combination of bird movement and local amplification through mosquitoes. This project aims to develop automated flight activity sampling technology by adapting current traps with electronic sensors. Public health vector control specialists are very supportive of the proposed work plan and technology.