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Acta Trop. 1998 Jun 30;70(2):163-70.

Activity pattern in relation to refuge exploitation and feeding in Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae).

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Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón II, Ciudad Universitaria, Argentina.


The pattern of locomotion activity was studied in Triatoma infestans, in relation to the use of an artificial refuge offered to the bugs in an experimental arena. In assays performed with insects that had a post-ecdysis starvation period of 1 week, the activity was low and mainly related to refuge leaving or entering. Insects that had gone through a longer period of starvation (6 weeks) exhibited a high locomotory activity throughout the night. Specific temporal windows were detected for refuge leaving and entering after dusk and before dawn, which were not modified by different levels of starvation of the insects. T. infestans exhibits a higher motivation for feeding during the first night hours, in comparison to that observed at the end of the scotophase. The activity peaks previously reported for T. infestans are therefore related to host and refuge search.

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