Females of all blood-feeding arthropod vectors must find and feed on a host in order to produce offspring. For tsetse—vectors of the trypanosomes that cause human and animal African trypanosomiasis—the problem is more extreme, since both sexes feed solely on blood. Host location is thus essential both for survival and reproduction. Host population density should therefore be an important driver of population dynamics for haematophagous insects, and particularly for tsetse, but the role of host density is poorly understood. We investigate the issue using data on changes in numbers of tsetse caught during a host elimination experiment in Zimbabwe in the 1960s.
This work arises from the Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) programme.
Lord J, Mthombothi Z, Lagat V, Atuhaire F, Hargrove J (2017). Host-seeking efficiency can explain population dynamics of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans in response to host density decline. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 11(7): e0005730
Host-seeking efficiency can explain population dynamics of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans in response to host density decline