0625 Incorporation of laser counters for quantifying insects passing through vacuum-pump driven aspirators

Monday, December 13, 2010: 10:50 AM
Pacific, Salon 1 (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Theodor L. Stansly , Citrus Horticulture, University of Florida, Immokalee, FL
Philip A. Stansly , Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Immokalee, FL
A large percentage of research time is spent manually gathering, counting, and handling insects from their respective colonies. Traditional collecting and counting methods are difficult and time consuming when dealing with large numbers of insects (i.e. 1000+). Any improvements to these methods could significantly increase productivity and/or decrease overall resources needed to accomplish research goals. Fork or slot sensors developed for industry have already been equipped to handle high-speed counting operations and can be adapted for this purpose. Such devices are capable of maintaining a maximum response time of 100┬Ás and a resolution of 0.05mm. These are acceptable limits to assure accurate and precise counts of various small-insects, including the psyllid Diaphorina citri and its parasitoid Tamarixia radiata (<1mm); both presently mass reared in our laboratory and elsewhere. A Class 1 laser (670 nm) was used to minimize any potential risk of damaging the insect. Modifications were made to a vacuum pump aspirator by incorporating a through-beam laser sensor that was able to count Diaphorina citri with more than 90% accuracy in preliminary trials. There are indications that further tests and improvements on the device would be able to have the significance level well within scientific standards (95 percentile). This highly adaptable system could be incorporated into large production facilities and also into portable devices.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.52570