Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Cost-effective Method to collect Indigenous Strains of Clostridium Bacteria (Part II)

Use this information responsibly.  Image from Barf Blog, a blog dedicated to food poisoning.

The answer to "A cost-effective method to collect indigenous strains of Clostridium bacteria" is to let nature do it.
Japanese Beetles are one type of beetle that is attracted to odor lures, often times in numbers better measured in pounds than in individuals.
The most common (by weight) "natural" prey of C. botulinum are worms and grubs that are drown when heavy summer rains flood low-lying areas.  Dead ducks may be more visible, but the invertebrate outweigh them.   How do those grubs get there?  That is where their mothers laid eggs.

According to the University of Minnesota, Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica)

Activity is most intense over a 6 to 8 week period, after which the beetles gradually die off. Individual beetles live about 60 days. Over 2 months females can lay a total of 60 eggs.

At dusk...the females fly to turf to lay eggs. Females burrow 2 to 3 inches into the soil and lay their eggs.

To put it in other words, each female JB burrows two-to-three inches into the dirt every afternoon for the majority of their sixty day, adult lifespan. A beetle can cover a lot of real estate in two months.
Look at all the hairs on this Japanese Beetle!  It even has twelve extra "brushes" on its hindquarters.  Almost as if it was designed to pick up spore samples.  This magnificent photo was taken by Tony Northrup
It might be a little bit tough to get Grad students to take samples from each of those islands....but the JBs will gladly do it.  All you need is a trap that is placed upwind of the region you wish to sample.

1 comment:

  1. That would be an interesting approach to sampling, but then you'd have to try to backtrack the beetle...