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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 96, No. 6, 2001, pp. 785-789
Bioline Code: oc01126
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 96, No. 6, 2001, pp. 785-789

 en Morphometric Comparison of Simulium perflavum Larvae (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Relation to Season and Gender in Central Amazônia, Brazil
Yamile B Alencar; Neusa Hamada & Sandra Magni-Darwich


Number of larval instars, age structure and environmental effects on these parameters represent basic information in the study of insect population biology. When species have economic importance, this information is essential in order to choose the best period to apply different control methods and to determine the stages of the life cycle of the insect that are most susceptible to each treatment. The family Simuliidae has many species of medical/veterinary importance in the world, and some studies in the temperate region have suggested that the number of larval instars and the larval size can vary according to the season, gender and some environmental factors, such as temperature and diet. This study, with the zoophilic species Simulium perflavum Roubaud, is the first in the Neotropics observing some of these factors and will serve as a template for other species of medical importance in the region. S. perflavum larvae were collected in five streams in Central Amazônia (Manaus and Presidente Figueiredo counties, State of Amazonas), in Sept./Oct. 1996 (dry season) and Feb./Mar. 1997 (rainy season). These larvae were measured (lateral length of head capsule and width of cephalic apodema) to determine the number of larval instars (n=3985), to compare the larval size between seasons and genders (last and penultimate larval instars, n=200). Seven larval instars were determined for this species using frequency distributions, t-tests and Crosby"s growth rule. Significant differences were not detected (t-test, p}0.05) in larval size between seasons and genders. Our results differ from some found in temperate regions suggesting that in the Neotropical region the larval size in different seasons and different genders remains constant, although some environmental parameters, such as diet, change depending on the season.

aquatic insects, black fly, biometry, larval instars, Amazônia

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