Dead or Alive Mosquito Specimens
Please note we can not receive live adult or larval mosquito specimens, they need to be collected and frozen (adults) or preserved (larvae) before submission.
The taxonomic identification between mosquito species often relies upon the identification of minute differences such as clusters of hairs and scales. It is important that these features are preserved. Poorly preserved or mishandled samples may lead to an inability to accurately identify samples.
1. Try to trap the mosquito inside a container, e.g. an ice-cream container. Avoid crushing it if possible.
2. Ensure the lid is firmly attached.
3. Place the container into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
4. When ready to send or deliver, remove from freezer and place specimen into a small container, e.g. matchbox, film cannister, pill bottle.
5. Seal in an envelope and address
to NZB Laboratory in Wellington.
Dead mosquito specimens can be placed directly into a small container and refrigerated until packaged for sending. They do not require freezing unless storing for more than a couple of days.
Please dispatch larval samples as soon as practical after collection but at least within 24 hours of collection. Even with the preservation techniques described below samples may still deteriorate. The following procedure must be used when preparing samples for transport:
Water should be removed from the sample tube with a pipette then replaced with at least 70% ethanol (but not methanol as it damages specimens). Do not put cotton wool, tissue or any other padding in the tube with the larvae. Larvae can get trapped in the padding and can get damaged or desiccate. The tube should contain larvae and ethanol only.
The tube should be clearly labelled with the sample number, date, location and GPS reference points written in pencil, (if the tube leaks the alcohol can wipe labels marked in pen). Ensure sample tube lids are secured tightly so that tubes won’t leak. Place tubes in plastic container/zip bag to prevent the possibility of alcohol leaking and causing damage to other mail during transit. Samples should be securely packaged, for example by placing the sample tubes in a sturdy box or padded envelope with the sample sheet and mark the package as Fragile.
PHU's must complete specimen, including negative sampling, data entry into the National Online Mosquito Database.