WRBU provides to the Department of Defense identification of arthropod vectors of human and animal diseases for research, disease surveillance and medical/veterinary diagnostics.

Arthropod Groups Evaluated


Specimens should be properly preserved and mounted (see guidelines).

Specimens should be part of an established research, surveillance or medical/veterinary diagnostics program.

Specimens should represent material needed as research, surveillance or diagnostics vouchers (species identification verification) and/or problematic specimens not yielding to routine identification with commonly available keys.

Specimens should be accompanied by DD Form 1222. Because of limited resources, identifications of large numbers of specimens are not possible except by prior arrangement. The level of identification will be dependent on the expertise available at WRBU and on willing participants in the museum and academic communities. Collaborations with other institutions and individuals also available by prior arrangement.

Internet Image Service Instructions

We will try to identify your mosquito specimens using images/pictures you send us through email. For each mosquito specimen, send us the images/pictures under different views/aspects (See below). Select the best specimens you have (less damaged parts, intact scales, etc.). When diagnostic characters in your images are not visible to positively ID your specimens, we will ask you take some more shots of your specimens. If they are impossible to ID using images, we will ask you to send us the specimens for further analysis.

This service of using images to ID specimens is offered only to those Preventive Medicine units and other military units that need immediate ID results, particularly those deployed.

You must have a stereomicroscope with at least 70X magnification and a digital camera (attached to your scope) to take images/pictures of your specimens. Save the images in JPEG file format and email to us.

Contact us (pecorj@si.edu; Tel. 301-238-1077; Fax 301-238-3168) prior to sending the images. Provide the following specimen collection data: place and date of collection, habitat, and collector.

Specimen images

For individual mosquito specimen, provide us with the following images/pictures:

  • Head
    • Whole head — frontal/dorsal (upper) view
    • Vertex of head — dorsal view
    • Clypeus — frontal view
    • Palpus — lateral (side) view of the whole palpus
  • Thorax
    • Scutum — dorsal view
    • Scutum — lateral view
    • Scutellar lobes — dorsal view
  • Wing
    • Whole wing — dorsal view
    • Base of wing — close-up dorsal view
  • Legs
    • Hind leg — lateral view of whole hind leg
    • Hindtarsus — lateral view
    • Middle leg — lateral view of the whole mid leg
    • Midtarsus — lateral view
    • Front leg — lateral view of the whole foreleg
    • Foretarsus — lateral view
  • Abdomen
    • Whole abdomen — dorsal view
    • Whole abdomen — ventral (lower) view

Point of contact:

MAJ P. Wesley McCardle, Chief, Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit – WRAIR Entomology

Mailing address: Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, Museum Support Center, MRC-534, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20746-2863 USA; E-mail: Patrick.w.mccardle.mil@mail.mil

The Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit | Museum Support Center, MRC-534 | Smithsonian Institution | 4210 Silver Hill Rd. | Suitland, MD 20746-2863 USA | Ph: 301-238-1077; FAX: 301-238-3168
Entomology Branch | Walter Reed Army Institute of Research | 503 Robert Grant Avenue | Silver Spring, MD 20910-7500 USA

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