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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 95, No. 1, 2000, pp. 131-133
Bioline Code: oc00022
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 95, No. 1, 2000, pp. 131-133

 en Haematophagy and Cleptohaematophagy of Clerada apicicornis (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae), a Potential Biological Control Agent of Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)
Mariela Torres; Estrella Cárdenas; Sandra Pérez & Alberto Morales

Abstract

Because of its ability to prey on Triatominae in rural houses, Clerada apicicornis has been suggested as a potential biological control agent of Rhodnius prolixus. It has also been suggested as a potential vector of mammalian trypanosomes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, because of its ability to take blood directly from mammals. To help resolve these conflicting ideas, we assessed the haematophagic behaviour of C. apicicornis by carrying out feeding trials on laboratory animals.

Cleptohaematophagic behaviour was also assessed by allowing C. apicicornis to feed on R. prolixus previously engorged with avian blood. The low proportion of blood meals taken directly from laboratory animals indicates a facultative haematophagy in this species, whereas a greater proportion of nymphs and adults were able to obtain vertebrate blood by predation on engorged R. prolixus. The results suggest that C. apicicornis is unlikely to be effective as a biological control agent, but is also unlikely to have a significant role in the transmission of vertebrate pathogens.

Keywords
Clerada apicicornis - Rhodnius prolixus - biological control - cleptohaematophagy

 
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