Estimating tsetse fertility: daily averaging versus periodic larviposition

Med Vet Entomol. 2020 Mar;34(1):27-33. doi: 10.1111/mve.12399. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


When computing mean daily fertility in adult female tsetse, the common practice of taking the reciprocal of the interlarval period (called averaged fertility) was compared with the method of taking the sum of the products of daily fertility and adult survivorship divided by the sum of daily survivorships (called periodic fertility). The latter method yielded a consistently higher measure of fertility (approximately 10% for tsetse) than the former method. A conversion factor was calculated to convert averaged fertility to periodic fertility. A feasibility criterion was determined for the viability of a tsetse population. Fertility and survivorship data from tsetse populations on Antelope Is. and Redcliff Is., both in Zimbabwe, were used to illustrate the feasibility criterion, as well as the limitations imposed by survivorship and fertility on the viability of tsetse populations. The 10% difference in fertility between the two methods of calculation makes the computation of population feasibility with some parameter combinations sometimes result in a wrong answer. It also underestimates both sterile male release rates required to eradicate a pest population, as well as the speed of resurgence if an eradication attempt fails.

Keywords: Density-dependence; Glossina; fecundity; interlarval period; mortality; population feasibility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Entomology / methods*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Insect Control
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Reproduction
  • Tsetse Flies / physiology*
  • Zimbabwe