A Pilot Radio Telemetry Field Study of Triatomine Vectors (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) of the Chagas Disease Parasite.
- Additional Document Info
- View All
We conducted the first pilot radio telemetry study of hematophagous arthropods by placing transmitters on wild-caught triatomine insects ('kissing bugs'), vectors of the Chagas disease parasite. In Texas-a recognized hotspot for triatomine diversity and locally-acquired human and animal Chagas disease-we tagged five female and four male Triatoma gerstaeckeri (Stl) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), as well as one female and one male Triatoma sanguisuga (Leconte) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in three counties from 2015 to 2017. In comparative trials, placement of the transmitter on the dorsal side of the abdomen underneath the hemelytra wings, with the transmitter antenna shortened to 3 cm, yielded the best results. We tracked the movements of the 11 tagged bugs over an average of 4.8 d (range of 1 to 12 d) and detected 18 movement events with an average distance of 3.8 m (range of 1 to 20 m). This pilot study demonstrates the potential utility for using telemetry as a tool for studying fine-scale non-flight movement of triatomines and the discovery of cryptic resting habitats. Future studies using this or similar technologies to study movement and behavior of triatomines could test for site-fidelity of resting habitats and provide novel insight into aspects of vector biology that could be targeted in disease risk reduction efforts.
author list (cited authors)
Hamer, G. L., Bejcek, J. R., Valdez, E. A., Curtis-Robles, R., & Hamer, S. A.
complete list of authors
Hamer, Gabriel L||Bejcek, Justin R||Valdez, Edwin A||Curtis-Robles, Rachel||Hamer, Sarah A