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Gregg Hunt and Charles McKinnon (1990)

Evaluation of Membranes for Feeding Culicoides variipennis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) with an Improved Artificial Blood-Feeding Apparatus

Journal of Medical Entomology, 27(5):934-937.

An artificial blood-feeding apparatus for Culicoides variipennis (Coquillett) was improved by developing a simpler design to heat and mix the blood meal and by increasing the surface area for insect feeding. The skin from a 1- to 3-d-old chick and a reinforced silicone membrane were the most satisfactory of nine membranes evaluated for C. variipennis, with 81 and 83\% mean blood-feeding rates, respectively. The operational advantages of the reinforced silicone membrane for feeding C. variipennis included its composition of readily available synthetic materials, easy fabrication, faster preparation than the chick skin, and its suitability for repeated use in colony maintenance and virus infection studies.

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