Comparison of Some Behavioral and Physiological Feeding Parameters of Triatoma infestans Klug, 1834 and Mepraia spinolai Porter, 1934, Vectors of Chagas Disease in Chile

Canals M.; Solís R.; Tapia C.; Ehrenfeld, M; Cattan, P.E.

Keywords: behavior, chile, insect, animals, weight, transmission, feeding, disease, triatominae, physiology, defecation, vectors, body, bites, carrier, article, triatoma, animal, chagas, study, comparative, and, bite, Stings


There are two vectors of Chagas disease in Chile: Triatoma infestans and Mepraia spinolai. We studied the feeding behavior of these species, looking for differences which could possibly explain the low impact of the latter species on Chagas disease. Both species used thermal cues to locate their feeding source and consumed a similar volume of blood which was inversely related to the body weight before the meal and directly related to the time between meals. The average time between bites were 6.24 and 10.74 days. The average bite of M. spinolai lasted 9.68 min, significantly shorter than the 19.46 min for T. infestans. Furthermore, while T. infestans always defecated on the host, this behavior was observed in M. spinolai in only one case of 27 (3.7%). The delay between the bites and defecation was very long in M. spinolai and short in T. infestans. These differences may affect the reduced efficiency of transmission of Chagas infection by M. spinolai.

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Volumen: 94
Número: 5
Editorial: Fundaco Oswaldo Cruz
Fecha de publicación: 1999
Página de inicio: 687
Página final: 692