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Trop Med Parasitol. 1986 Jun;37(2):143-8.

Artificial feeding of West African Simulium damnosum Theobald s.l. (Diptera: Simuliidae) through membranes and their subsequent fecundity.


Simulium damnosum s.l. females were offered blood through artificial membranes using a feeding apparatus in which the blood is kept warm and stirred. Feeding rates and egg production were compared using a synthetic silicone or a latex membrane and ten different kinds of blood with and without added adenosine-tri-phosphate (ATP). Feeding rates were usually higher with silicone than with latex membranes. Wild flies captured just before starting to feed on man, usually fed better than females that had emerged from pupae in the laboratory. Wild-caught flies showed best results when deep-frozen human blood with EDTA or fresh human blood from a blood bank was offered through a silicone membrane. Using a latex membrane they fed best on "instant" and fresh human blood from a blood bank. Laboratory-emerged females which were offered blood only through the silicone membrane, fed best on freeze-dried porcine blood or on human blood with EDTA, both with ATP. Optimal feeding rates were obtained with one day old flies and membrane temperatures between 37.0 and 39.5 degrees C. Real fecundity depended on blood-meal volume. Females that took a complete meal on man produced 377 eggs per fly. Since a higher percentage of flies fed through membranes took small or medium sized blood meals, their fecundity was correspondingly lower (295 eggs per fly).

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