Research ArticleROBOTS AND SOCIETY

Field performance of sterile male mosquitoes released from an uncrewed aerial vehicle

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Robotics  15 Jun 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 43, eaba6251
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aba6251
  • Fig. 1 The adult mosquito release system operated from an UAV.

    (A) Front right view of the release mechanism (technical drawing). (B) Half-section of the release mechanism (technical drawing). (C) Canister filled with 50,000 marked mosquitoes. (D) Fully assembled aerial mosquito release system attached to a DJI M600 UAV in flight.

  • Fig. 2 Fried competitiveness index of sterile male A. aegypti.

    Sterile males were released using our prototype aerial release system or by ground in large cages at the laboratory.

  • Fig. 3 Results of an MRR experiment in Carnaíba do Sertão, Brazil.

    (A) Map of the monitoring system using BG monitoring TM traps (Biogents, Germany) deployed from 20 March to 11 April 2018. Black points represent traps with catches of sterile A. aegypti during the line releases, whereas white points represent negative traps. The red point represents the location of ground releases and point releases in the middle of a football field. (B) Trap catches of sterile males after point releases by drone at 100 and 50 m and on the ground. Each data point represents the total catch of one trap during the experimental period. (C) Trap catches of sterile males after line releases by drone at 100 m, wild females and wild males. Each data point represents the total catch of one trap during the experimental period. (D) Relationship between sterile male catches and those of wild females and males. (E) Photography of a marked sterile male A. aegypti.

  • Fig. 4 Dynamics of the temperature inside the release system during a flight.

    The flight altitude was 100 m and corresponds to the line release of 21 March 2018 described in Table 1.

  • Fig. 5 Induced sterility and sexual competitiveness of sterile male A. aegypti released from an UAV-operated release system.

    (A) Temporal dynamics of the sterile-to-wild male ratio and rate of viable eggs in the release and nontreated areas. (B) Estimation of the Fried index from 1000 bootstraps in the distributions of sterile to wild male ratios in traps and viable egg rates in ovitraps in the release and nontreated areas (see the Supplementary Materials for details). The density corresponds to the percentage of the simulations for a given value.

  • Table 1 Main characteristics of the sterile male A. aegypti released in Carnaíba do Sertão, Brazil, in 2018.

    Each row represents a series released separately with a different color: B, blue; O, orange; Y, yellow; G, green; P, pink. Colors can be combined (e.g., BY, blue + yellow). The numbers in parentheses in the column labeled “Survival rate” are the r2 of the survival models fitted to the data, i.e., the percentage of inertia explained. NA, not applicable.

    Release patternDate of
    release
    ColorNumber
    released
    Recapture
    rate (%)
    Number
    recaptured
    RepeatSurvival rateMedian
    distance
    Ground21 MarchB9,6001.3012510.20 (0.96)97
    Ground24 MarchBY7,2001.9013720.63 (0.59)68
    Drone_50m_stationary21 MarchO9,6000.27261NA117
    Drone_50m_stationary24 MarchOY7,2000.282020.82 (0.48)148
    Drone_100m_stationary21 MarchG9,6000.0551NA158
    Drone_100m_stationary24 MarchGY7,2000.0862NA148
    Drone_100m_path21 MarchP50,7000.2713810.45 (0.80)NA
    Drone_100m_path24 MarchPY49,0000.4220720.64 (0.74)NA
    Drone_100m_path27 MarchY65,7000.2717530.70 (0.39)NA

Supplementary Materials

  • robotics.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/43/eaba6251/DC1

    Materials and Methods

    Results

    Fig. S1. Flight ability results of male A. aegypti following 2 hours of immobilization at 4°C under various levels of compaction.

    Fig. S2. The average time taken (seconds) for 75% of adult male A. aegypti to regain flight ability following immobilization at 6°, 8°, and 10°C for 1 to 4 hours.

    Fig. S3. Flight ability results of male A. aegypti after passing through two prototype release mechanisms versus a control sample.

    Fig. S4. Flight ability of male A. aegypti after passing through the cylinder release mechanism at different speeds (1 or 3 rpm).

    Fig. S5. Flight ability of male A. aegypti after passing through the cylinder release mechanism depending on their position in the canister.

    Fig. S6. Wind speed test chamber.

    Fig. S7. Differentiation of sterile males from wild flies using fluorescent dust.

    Fig. S8. Temporal dynamics of the fertility rate measured with ovitraps in a control site close to the release area from 27 March 2017 to 14 May 2018.

    Fig. S9. Number of positive traps with at least one sterile male captured in quadrats of 3*3, 5*5, and 10*10 over the study area (dotted line).

    Table S1. Fixed-effects coefficients of a Gaussian model of the impact of temperature and chilling duration on the wake-up time of A. aegypti.

    Table S2. Fixed-effects coefficients of a mixed-effect binomial model of the impact of wind speed in the wind tunnel on the escape rate of A. aegypti measured in the IAEA reference flight test.

    Table S3. Comparison of the mortality rates of the different series in the field.

    Data file S1. Raw dataset.

    Movie S1. Presentation of the drone trial run in Brazil, March 2018.

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Materials and Methods
    • Results
    • Fig. S1. Flight ability results of male A. aegypti following 2 hours of immobilization at 4°C under various levels of compaction.
    • Fig. S2. The average time taken (seconds) for 75% of adult male A. aegypti to regain flight ability following immobilization at 6°, 8°, and 10°C for 1 to 4 hours.
    • Fig. S3. Flight ability results of male A. aegypti after passing through two prototype release mechanisms versus a control sample.
    • Fig. S4. Flight ability of male A. aegypti after passing through the cylinder release mechanism at different speeds (1 or 3 rpm).
    • Fig. S5. Flight ability of male A. aegypti after passing through the cylinder release mechanism depending on their position in the canister.
    • Fig. S6. Wind speed test chamber.
    • Fig. S7. Differentiation of sterile males from wild flies using fluorescent dust.
    • Fig. S8. Temporal dynamics of the fertility rate measured with ovitraps in a control site close to the release area from 27 March 2017 to 14 May 2018.
    • Fig. S9. Number of positive traps with at least one sterile male captured in quadrats of 3*3, 5*5, and 10*10 over the study area (dotted line).
    • Table S1. Fixed-effects coefficients of a Gaussian model of the impact of temperature and chilling duration on the wake-up time of A. aegypti.
    • Table S2. Fixed-effects coefficients of a mixed-effect binomial model of the impact of wind speed in the wind tunnel on the escape rate of A. aegypti measured in the IAEA reference flight test.
    • Table S3. Comparison of the mortality rates of the different series in the field.

    Download PDF

    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Data file S1 (Microsoft Excel format). Raw dataset.
    • Movie S1 (.mp4 format). Presentation of the drone trial run in Brazil, March 2018.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Stay Connected to Science Robotics

Navigate This Article