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Nasonia vitripennis Cultures

Nasonia vitripennis. This insect parasitizes the Sarcophaga (flesh fly) pupae. Females usually lay 30–50 eggs in the pupae, which provide food for the Nasonia larvae when they hatch. Once the larvae become pupae, they can be sexed, thus ensuring virgin females for experimental crosses. Adults will emerge in approximately fourteen days; however, Nasonia provide flexible study time because they can be halted at any stage of development by refrigeration. Nasonia are also easy to handle in the lab because they don’t sting or bite, and they are not prone to flying away without warning.

Commonly called the jewel wasp, Nasonia are small wasps that do not sting or bite. Nasonia are better and more interesting study subjects for several reasons. Mutants are observable without dissecting scopes. They are easily sexed in either the pupal (thus ensuring virgin females) or adult stage. They tend not to fly like Drosophila. You can arrest their life cycle using refrigeration to work around your class schedule. Haploid males make all crosses appear sex-linked. They exhibit ritualistic courtship and mating behaviors. They have a parasitic life cycle. They are easy to culture and maintain.

You can use Nasonia to teach topics covering scientific method and techniques, genetics, behavior, selective advantage and biotechnology. You can study the world of Nasonia through the Nasonia Project, a comprehensive set of inquiry-based lab activities available only from WARD’S.

Ordering Information: Each culture, supplied in the pupal stage in infected Sarcophaga hosts, is enough for 35 students.


Item # Description Unit Price Quantity
876750 Wild-Type Eye (in Sarcophaga Pupae)
Each Retrieving
7505355 Wild-Type Eye Female Pupae
Each Retrieving
7505350 Wild-Type Eye Male Pupae
Each Retrieving
876751 Black-Eye (in Sarcophaga Pupae)
Each Retrieving
876753 Orange Eye (in Sarcophaga Pupae)
Each Retrieving
7505369 Orange Eye Male Pupae
Each Retrieving
876752 Scarlet Eye (in Sarcophaga Pupae)
Each Retrieving
7505360 Scarlet Eye Male Pupae
Each Retrieving
7505365 Scarlet Eye Female Pupae
Each Retrieving
928050 Adult Composite (M & F)
Each Retrieving


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