Studies on the ecology and behaviour of certain biting Diptera

Parker, Alec H (1955) Studies on the ecology and behaviour of certain biting Diptera. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The investigations described in the first part of this thesis were carried on the biology of blood-sucking midges (Culicoides Latreille - Diptera: CERATOPOGONIDAE = HELEIDAE) in Scotland. Midges, at times a source of annoyance in almost all parts of Britain, are, as is well known, particularly troublesome in Scotland, especially in the Highlands. Here, during the summer months, they are a severe source of irritation to both local inhabitants and tourists. Domestic animals are also attacked and may be adversely affected; cattle subjected to heavy attack, for example, are said to suffer a reduced milk yield. In consequence of its great importance, two research assistants were, in 1946, appointed in the University of Glasgow to investigate the biology of Culicoides in Scotland. The author held one of these appointments until 1948, when he left this field of investigation. New facts have since come to light, and such of these as are relevant will be commented on in the discussions following the sections in which the author's own results are presented. In Part IA are presented the results of an investigation into the habits of adult Culicoides in the field, the investigation being carried out mainly at the University of Glasgow Insect Field Station, situated at Rossdhu, Loch Lomond, The main object was to study variations in incidence occurring at different times of day and year. Subsidiary investigations were the effect of weather conditions on adult activity, and the relative readiness of different species to attack man. Part IB is a description of laboratory investigations primarily aimed at obtaining the eggs of as many species of Culicoides as possible, observing them under normal conditions, and, assessing their resistance to adverse conditions of drought and heat. Data on the maintenance of adults in the laboratory for egg-laying purposes are also presented. Part II is an account of an investigation undertaken while the author was Research Entomologist at the West African Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research, a post which he assumed in 1950. The principal vectors of trypanosomiasis in Africa are, of course, tsetse flies (Glossina Wiedemann - Diptera: MUSCIDAE ). Although numerous field observations on the breeding sites of these insects had been recorded, practically nothing was known of the stimuli to which the pregnant female responded in choosing these sites. The investigation described was principally an attempt to determine the nature of these stimuli by laboratory experiments, supplemented, where necessary, by field observations. The species investigated was G. palpalis Robineau-Desvoidy, an important carrier of human sleeping sickness; this species was the one most readily available in the neighbourhood of Kaduna, Northern Nigeria.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Entomology
Date of Award: 1955
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1955-73434
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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