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Using Microdots to Mark Bees

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  • Sam Droege
    All Knowing how nice it would be to use mark-recapture techniques on bees and the difficulty in marking small bees made me take notice of the following new
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 18, 2012

      Knowing how nice it would be to use mark-recapture techniques on bees and the difficulty in marking small bees made me take notice of the following new article, which may be of use to the group.


      Agricultural and Forest Entomology

      Volume 14, Issue 2, May 2012, Pages 171-175


      Microdot technology for individual marking of small arthropods
      Whitehead, M.R. ,Peakall, R.  

      Evolution Ecology and Genetics Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia


      View references (37) Abstract
      Individual mark-release-recapture is an important method for gathering data on insect movement, although it is limited by the constraints of tagging small insects with individual information. Microdots, originally developed for covert security applications, are small polymer discs (diameter 0.5 mm) bearing up to 26 characters of information and have the potential as an alternative to the larger bee tags. In the present study, we test microdots for the individual marking of a 9-mm parasitoid wasp. We individually marked 505 wasps. The recapture rate was 24% of individuals over 189 recapture events, for which 84% retained legible microdot labels. Movement was in the range 0-161 m with a mean displacement 21.2 ± 2.7 m. A captive survival experiment showed no difference in lifespan between marked and unmarked wasps. The present study shows that microdots can provide an effective, durable, low-cost method for individually tagging small insects. The technique offers new opportunities by greatly expanding the capability for individually marking small insects, shifting the minimum size below that of bee tags, which is the only other manufactured option for individualized miniature marking. © 2011 The Authors. Agricultural and Forest Entomology © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705

      A Considerable Speck


      A speck that would have been beneath my sight
      On any but a paper sheet so white
      Set off across what I had written there.
      And I had idly poised my pen in air
      To stop it with a period of ink
      When something strange about it made me think,
      This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
      But unmistakably a living mite
      With inclinations it could call its own.
      It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
      And then came racing wildly on again
      To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
      Then paused again and either drank or smelt--
      With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
      Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
      It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
      Yet must have had a set of them complete
      To express how much it didn't want to die.
      It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
      It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
      Then in the middle of the open sheet
      Cower down in desperation to accept
      Whatever I accorded it of fate.
      I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
      Collectivistic regimenting love
      With which the modern world is being swept.
      But this poor microscopic item now!
      Since it was nothing I knew evil of
      I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

      I have a mind myself and recognize
      Mind when I meet with it in any guise
      No one can know how glad I am to find
      On any sheet the least display of mind.

           -- Robert Frost
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