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Offbeat: Animal research helper

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predatory bugs were used for the first time in the Hoyerswerda Zoo.

Die Raubwanze wurde zur Blutentnahme angesetzt. © Foto: Zoo Hoyerswerda © Photo: Zoo Hoyerswerda The predatory bug was used for blood sampling. © Photo: Zoo Hoyerswerda

Hoyerswerda. Only four centimeters tall, but still an important helper of research: the predatory bug. Last week, a blood sample was taken for the first time in the Hoyerswerda Zoo. Your patient: Galápagos giant turtle Bert.

for control and but above all for species determination, the blood was removed. Probe bugs in the Zooelt are used in more than 40 species for the detection of parasites and hormone analysis. A genetic evidence of the species has not yet been tested and should now be tested with Bert's blood.

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hardly noticeable

“Whether the small amount of almost 4 milliliters is sufficient will still turn out. A comparison sample was also taken from both giant turtles Bert and Jolante, ”explains Eugène Bruins, zoo director of the Hoyerswerda Zoo. The predatory bug did not want to prick the first attempt two weeks ago. On the other hand, last week the prerequisites were optimal. Galápagos giant turtle Bert was sitting under the heat lamp and the bug felt comfortable enough at 27 degrees Celsius skin temperature to start the blood sample immediately. It will turn out in the coming weeks whether this way of taking blood is also suitable for genetic research.

The stitch of the predatory bug is much finer than that of a cannula and the innovative saliva does not feel the stinging with the sucking creep or the blood sample that lasts up to 20 minutes.

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A proven method

A particularly stress -free and pleasant method for the animal that the zoo, if it proves itself, now wants to apply more often. The predatory bug Dipetalogaster Maxima is the most frequently used species. Only during its larval stage does it feed exclusively on blood. After the suction process, the bug is removed from the abdomen by means of a cannula. Only after four days does the digestive process begin in the gastrointestinal tract. Until then, the blood is free of contamination. In humans, this variant of blood sample has been used to determine pathogens for over a hundred years. These predatory bugs occur exclusively in Latin America. (PM/Jum)

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