Spatio-temporal variation of biting flies, Stomoxys spp. (Diptera: Muscidae), along a man-made disturbance gradient, from primary forest to the city of Makokou (North-East, Gabon)

Med Vet Entomol. 2013 Sep;27(3):339-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2012.01064.x. Epub 2012 Dec 26.


Understanding the pattern of abundance of vector populations is important to control the potential of transmission of associated pathogens. The pattern of abundance of Stomoxys Geoffroy, an ubiquitous blood-sucking fly, is poorly known in tropical Africa. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal pattern of abundance of the Stomoxys genus along a gradient of man-made disturbance in north-eastern Gabon. Three sites (one in primary forest, one in secondary forest and one in a man-made environment) were monitored during 13 months using Vavoua traps. Seven species and subspecies were found to live in sympatry, but with distinct patterns of abundance with respect to space and time. The most abundant species was Stomoxys transvittatus Villeneuve, whereas the rarest species was S. xanthomelas Roubaud. Stomoxys calcitrans Linné was preferentially found in man-made environments, whereas S. xanthomelas was preferentially found in primary forest. Stomoxys abundance was the greatest in secondary forest, then in man-made environments and finally in primary forest. A seasonal variation in Stomoxys abundance was also found. In conclusion, forest degradation and deforestation are likely both to favour the concentration of populations of Stomoxys, and to change the specific composition of the Stomoxys community.

Keywords: Abundance; anthropization; biting fly; distribution; habitat; population dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • Gabon
  • Insect Vectors / classification
  • Insect Vectors / physiology*
  • Muscidae / classification
  • Muscidae / physiology*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Seasons
  • Species Specificity