ARTHROPOD RESEARCH LABORATORY
The TIDREC's Arthropod Research Laboratory (ARL) provides expertise in a broad spectrum of entomological studies required for the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, flies and ectoparasites. The laboratory serves as an expert partner to the developers, manufacturers and users of insecticide products. The laboratory is equipped to execute a wide variety of bioassay tests; and laboratory facilities for research, educational and training activities are also available. The ARL also houses a Blackfly Gallery where most of the type specimens of new black fly species discovered in Southeast Asia are deposited.
The featured research activities of this unit are as follows:
Discovery of 132 new species of black flies in the Oriental Region
Black flies are biting insects of medical and veterinary importance. This is because females of certain species not only cause dermatoses like itching, rash and edema to humans and cattle but also are vectors of human and zoonotic onchocerciases, when they bite. Comprehensive knowledge of the fauna of black flies is essential as basic information to solve the problems or to promote a wide range of black fly research.
Since November 2010, University of Malaya Simuliidae Research Project researchers have collaborated and carried out field surveys in eight countries to explore the simuliid fauna in the Oriental Region, and discovered 132 new species which belong to five subgenera of the genus Simulium (30 species from Malaysia, 48 species from Vietnam, 25 species from Thailand, 10 species from Nepal, 10 species from Indonesia, three from Myanmar, four species from Taiwan, one species from Laos and one species from India), bringing the total number of black flies in the Oriental Region to 576. The researchers provided a new classification scheme to facilitate species identification, as well as describing these new species.