Bulletin of Entomological Research

Original Articles

The effects of selective elimination of hosts on a population of tsetse flies (Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood (Diptera, Glossinidae))

G. A. Valea1 and D. H. M. Cumminga2

a1 Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control Branch, Department of Veterinary Services, P.O. Box 8283, Causeway, Salisbury, Rhodesia

a2 Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management, P.O. Box 8365, Causeway, Salisbury, Rhodesia


Monthly observations were made of the numbers and nutritional state of Glossina morsitans morsitans Westw. and the numbers of game animals in an 11 km2 block of woodland in Rhodesia. After 31 months the block was enclosed by a warthog-proof fence and nearly all of the warthog inside were removed rapidly. Tsetse diet switched from 80% warthog to 40–80% bovid (mainly kudu), 20–50% elephant and 0–20% warthog. Six months later elephants were driven from the block and bovids then formed about 90% of tsetse diet for the next year. Although the selective removal of hosts produced a clear stress, it had no drastic effect on the numbers and nutritional state of tsetse when compared to these features of a control population. Movement of tsetse into the enclosed area can account partly, but not fully, for this. The effects of routine hunting operations on a tsetse population are also reported.

(Received April 20 1976)