Using Visible Implant Elastomer to tag insects across life stages: a preliminary investigation with blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Moffatt, Colin (2013) Using Visible Implant Elastomer to tag insects across life stages: a preliminary investigation with blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Canadian Entomologist, 145 (-). pp. 466-470. ISSN 1918-3240

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/tce.2013.18

Abstract

Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE) has previously been used successfully to tag individuals in a variety of marine and amphibious animals, earthworms, and scorpions. Visible Implant Elastomer tags were injected into third instars of the blow fly Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to test its compatibility and retention across life stages. Injecting into the dorsal midline of the 11th segment (7th abdominal segment) produced survival rates of 80%, with no significant difference in the subsequent rate of development (z = 0.21, P = 0.83) as compared to untagged insects. Tags remained visible and allowed identification of individuals within a feeding, intermingling aggregation (maggot mass), especially when a high-contrast fluorescent colour was used. Tags were retained across life-stage changes and were easily found in dissected adults.


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