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Mosquito Museum

 

Let Mahidol University introduces a museum located in Faculty of Tropical Medicine. Its full name is “Mosquito Museum, and Insect and Arthropod Specimens Bank”. Faculty of Tropical Medicine has been aware of importance and value of dividing creatures into categories, and ecology of insect vectors, so the faculty created personnel and sent the knowledge from one generation to the next generation. As a result, Department of Medical Entomology still has personnel who are expert on this matter. On the other hand, shortage of insect taxonomists in the present is in crisis, because the budget from inside and outside the country about 20 million baht has been spent continually for 20 years.


From 1984 to 1992, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada had granted fund for researches to Faculty of Tropical Medicine, in order to be an information network of diseases from mosquito in the region. It also has cooperation network members in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Besides publication, Faculty of Tropical Medicine also makes video and other forms of media for service and publicity, in order to acknowledge anyone who is interested all over the region. The faculty also collects mosquito vector specimens from all over the region, so as to be reference for researches which are comparative studies. It has been organized as Mosquito Annex managed by Department of Medical Entomology which is the beginning of collecting Thai mosquito specimens and organizing the specimen bank. In addition, the museum cooperates with Hospital for Tropical Diseases which is a hospital that treat tropical diseases. Most tropical diseases cause by mosquito and insect which are vectors of such diseases, such as malaria, diseases cause by parasite worms, liver disease, infectious diseases cause by bacteria, etc. Moreover, it is a promotion of research and academic which has been received support from many sectors until it became this museum eventually. The museum is still under construction, because the exhibitions need to be innovated, and many compositions of the museum need a great deal of budget for innovation and improvement.

Inside the museum, it is divided into categories of these tiny creatures. The first part is exhibition room. There are replica trees which have stuffed insects on them. If you look closely, you will see the beauty of their wings, like you are seeing their living in nature.


The next room is a small room for collecting various species of insects. In this room, there are cabinets for collecting insects for studies and researches such as flies, cockroaches, spiders, etc. Unbelievably, some domestic and import insects can live until 30-40 years old. Some insects inside the cabinets have specie names, but some of them are not known where they come from and what their names are. Although they have been kept for a long time, the museum still can use their DNA for studies and researches. In addition, there are information plates that explain background of the insects and how they have changed from the past until the present. The plates indicate location and date. The data on the plates can be used for researches. Anyway, one of the most important things of the museum is expert personnel that the number of them is decreasing continually. The museum has special boxes made for insects. The boxes are divided into categories of insects and each one can contain almost 50 insects. The collection has both normal insects you see every day, and rare insects or extinct insects. It is not easy to learn and get a secret of nature which is not inside a classroom or a textbook.

 

 

The last room of the museum is the most interesting, because it is a room for raising mosquitoes. You will see life cycle of mosquito in order; when they are eggs, mosquito larvae, and adult mosquitoes. Moreover, you will see life cycle of cockroach, ecdysis of scorpion, and other creatures. Also, raising mosquitoes has other benefits. For example, some private companies have bought some mosquito specimens from Faculty of Tropical Medicine, in order to use in experiments. Inside the museum, there is also a laboratory for raising house dust mites for researches. We can say that this room is full of living creatures. When you come into this museum, you will receive knowledge, and learn how insects live and how these tiny creatures are worth for studies and researches.

 
 
 
 

For more information, please contact:

 

Associate Professor Doctor Chamnarn Apiwathnasorn, Dr. Jiraporn Ruangsittichai,

Department of Medical Entomology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Tel. 0 2306 9176-7 ext. 9176, 9177

 

For more information, please visit the following website: http://www.tm.mahidol.ac.th

 
 

 

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