Feeding behaviour of tsetse flies (Glossina pallidipes Austen) on Trypanosoma-infected oxen in Kenya

Parasitology. 1995 Apr;110 ( Pt 3):297-305. doi: 10.1017/s0031182000080884.


An incomplete ring of electric nets was placed around oxen which were either uninfected, infected with Trypanosoma vivax, or infected with T. congolense. The numbers of fed and unfed Glossina pallidipes caught on the nets were used to estimate the attractiveness of the oxen to tsetse, and the feeding success of the tsetse on the oxen. Oxen infected with T. congolense attracted more G. pallidipes than the other groups of oxen. Taking into consideration daily variation in the abundance or activity of the flies, oxen infected with T. congolense were about 70% more attractive to G. pallidipes than were uninfected oxen or oxen infected with T. vivax. The latter two groups mostly attracted high numbers of G. pallidipes on days when the flies were especially abundant or active. The feeding success of G. pallidipes declined with increase in the rate at which oxen made anti-fly movements. Taking this movement rate into consideration, the feeding success of G. pallidipes on oxen infected with T. congolense was approximately 60% greater than on uninfected oxen or oxen infected with T. vivax. It is suggested that vasodilation induced by T. congolense may account for the difference in feeding success. The level of parasitaemia of T. congolense or T. vivax was not found to affect either the attractiveness of oxen or the feeding success on oxen. There was significant daily variation in the mean fat content of male G. pallidipes caught around the oxen but not effect of mean daily fat content on the proportion of males that fed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Hemin / analysis
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Male
  • Trypanosoma congolense*
  • Trypanosoma vivax*
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / parasitology
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / physiopathology
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / veterinary
  • Trypanosomiasis, Bovine / parasitology*
  • Trypanosomiasis, Bovine / physiopathology
  • Tsetse Flies / chemistry
  • Tsetse Flies / physiology*


  • Lipids
  • Hemin