The role of water vapour in the orientation behaviour of the blood-sucking bug Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera, Reduviidae)

J Insect Physiol. 2003 Apr;49(4):315-21. doi: 10.1016/s0022-1910(03)00005-2.


The behavioural response to water vapour of the haematophagous bug Triatoma infestans was analysed. Dry or humid discrete sources at different temperatures were used as stimuli for insects walking on a locomotion compensator. Humidity significantly increased the tendency of these bugs to orientate towards thermal sources. Furthermore, humid sources at room temperature were attractive to T. infestans, but this effect was limited to short-range distances. On the other hand, dynamic sources, i.e. airstreams carrying different water vapour contents did not affect the spontaneous anemotactic behaviour of this species, neither in sign (positive) nor in intensity. The anemotactic behaviour was also not influenced by the physiological water balance state of the bugs. Results are discussed in relation to the cues released by living hosts of triatomine bugs and in relation to their responses to air-currents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humidity*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Triatoma / physiology*