Bulletin of Entomological Research

Research Paper

Further studies on age and trypanosome infection rates in Glossina pallidipes Aust., G. palpalis fuscipes Newst. and G. brevipalpis Newst. in Uganda

J. M. B. Harleya1

a1 East African Trypanosomiasis Research Organization, Tororo, Uganda

Between June 1964 and May 1965, samples of Glossina pallidipes Aust., G. palpalis fuscipes Newst. and G. brevipalpis Newst. were caught in an area on the north-eastern shore of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Both males and females were classified into age-categories according to the degree of wear of the wings. Females were also classified into ovarian age-categories according to the exact or approximate number of ovulations that had taken place. All were examined for presence of infections with Trypanosoma, which were classified as vivax-type, congolense-type or brucei-type according to their location in the flies.

The percentage compositions of the samples by wing-fray category are compared. The mean wing-fray category of females of G. palpalis fuscipes and G. brevipalpis was somewhat lower, and that of females of G. pallidipes somewhat higher, than that of the corresponding males. However, the figures for infection rate in females of all three species were higher than in the corresponding males, significantly so in G. pallidipes and G. palpalis fuscipes, and it seems probable that the mean age of females, at least of the two latter species, was greater than that of males. Among females, the range of calendar ages of flies in the various fray categories was wide.

The physiological age-determination method, in which females older than about 42 days are classified iDto four age-categories, does not extend sufficiently far to give a reasonable pattern for the age-composition of any of the species at Lugala, and many of the individuals caught must have been more than about 80 days old.

Seasonal fluctuations in mean wing-fray and in the proportion of old flies in the population were correlated with changes in infection rate of females of G. palpalis fuscipes but not of females of G. pallidipes. Among males of neither species were seasonal fluctuations in mean fray correlated with changes in infection rate, though among those of G. palpalis fuscipes the two varied similarly between June and February.

Females of G. pallidipes and G. palpalis fuscipes about 31–42 days old had significantly fewer brucei-type infections than those over 42 days old, and either the developmental cycle in the field must normally be longer than that recorded in laboratory investigations or many of the flies must become infected when more than just a few days old.

(Received November 24 1966)